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A new leaf: Sales of medical marijuana begin in New Jersey

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MONTCLAIR, N.J. (WPIX) – The Greenleaf Compassion Center opened its doors Thursday in Montclair, New Jersey. It is the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Garden State, even though the medical marijuana law was passed almost three years ago.

CaptureGreenleaf made its first legal sale of pot Thursday morning. It is by appointment and only about 20 of the more than 330 patients registered with the New Jersey Department of Health have been scheduled for Thursday. The dispensary plans to sell a half-ounce to each customer.

“I think it’s great for people with terminal diseases like cancer and AIDS because it’s a way to relieve pain,” said New Jersey resident Dylan Delorenzo. “It takes their mind off of how much pain they are in. As opposed to taking drugs that have severe side effects. So I think it’s a great alternative.”

The Department of Health will be at the Bloomfield Avenue dispensary on its opening day. According to the state’s law, patients with a doctor’s approval and health department registration can buy two ounces of pot per month.

Five other dispensary locations have been approved, but have not opened yet.  It took several years of bureaucratic delays before this first dispensary could be opened.  Gov. Christie and New Jersey lawmakers disagreed over the law’s rules and regulations.  New Jersey’s 7 percent sales tax will apply to medical marijuana purchases, so the state could possibly profit from this.