PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
Ocober 15, 2012

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Department of Health Issues Permit to Operate to Greenleaf Compassion Center

Greenleaf Compassion Center was issued a permit today by the Department of Health to operate as an Alternative Treatment Center (ATCs) and dispense medicinal marijuana. The permit was issued after a final Department inspection of its Montclair facility. Montclair officials also recently granted a certificate of occupancy to Greenleaf, clearing the way for the Department to grant its permit.

"This permit marks a significant step forward in the implementation of New Jersey's Medicinal Marijuana Program and allows Greenleaf Compassion Center to begin dispensing medicinal marijuana to qualified patients," said New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "The Department is working with all ATCs to ensure the program serves patients safely and securely."

Patients and caregivers will receive identification cards this week from the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP). Greenleaf will contact patients to schedule an appointment in the order in which patients registered. Patients and caregivers must bring their MMP identification card with them to the appointment.

Approximately 320 patients have either registered with the program or are in the process of completing registration, while more than 175 physicians have registered.

"This is a new product. Patients may want to make a limited purchase initially until they know which of the three available varieties best meets their needs," Commissioner O'Dowd said. ATCs can also provide guidance to patients on ways to use the product without the harmful effects of smoking.

The other five Alternative Treatment Centers are in various stages of finalizing locations or background examinations of the principals of their organizations.

The Department opened the patient registry in August. The registration process is available on the Department's Medicinal Marijuana webpage, which includes a checklist on how to register, answers to frequently asked questions and an option to submit questions via the website to customer services representatives.

Patients interested in registering should ask their doctor if he or she has signed up or would be willing to participate. If their physician is not interested-patients can check on the Department's Medicinal Marijuana webpage for physicians who have registered. The webpage provides a physician listing by county.

A Customer Service Unit is available to assist patients, caregivers and physicians in the registration process. The customer service line, (609) 292-0424, is open from 8 am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/faqs.shtml