By Steve Elliott
New Jersey's youngest medical marijuana patient, two-and-a-half-year-old Vivian Wilson, left the Compassionate Care Foundation medicinal cannabis dispensary Monday in a stroller, holding a stuffed toy dog, with her parents Brian and Meghan Wilson of Scotch Plains.
It was a moment to remember for the dispensary, which finally opened on Monday, nearly four years after the state passed its medical marijuana law, reports Susan K. Livio at The Star-Ledger. It was perhaps an even more important moment for the Wilsons and for other families with critically ill children in New Jersey.
Monday marked the first time a New Jersey family was able to buy the form of marijuana that in other states has helped quell the severe seizures that have stunted Vivian Wilson's development, and could take her life. Vivian has a rare and dangerous form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, and conventional medicine just hasn't helped much.
By Steve Elliott
Three years after then-Gov. Jon Corzine signed a medical marijuana bill into law, New Jersey patients still only have one operating dispensary at which to gain safe access to medicinal cannabis. But that could change in September.
A second medical marijuana dispensary expects to open for business on September 9, a state official said on Monday, saving Egg Harbor Township residents a drive to Essex County, reports Derek Harper at Press of Atlantic City.
Compassionate Care Foundation Inc. expects about 500 patients per month, according to state Department of Health spokeswoman Donna Leusner. The DOH regulates the state's medical marijuana program, for which 885 patients have so far registered.
As many as 16,000 plants will be cultivated at the Egg Harbor Township facility, raising interesting questions about the possibility of federal enforcement actions (the Feds have typically been attracted to grows of more than 100 plants, since the 10-year federal mandatory minimum for marijuana cultivation kicks in at that point).
One local medical marijuana supporter said he was disappointed that the dispensary isn't already open.
By Steve Elliott
A huge warehouse that once housed Donald Trump's surplus blackjack tables in an industrial park outside Atlantic City will be the site of South Jersey's first medical marijuana farm -- the second in the entire state -- where plants will be started next month and cannabis is scheduled to be sold starting on September 9.
The state's second "alternative treatment center" will be opening in Egg Harbor more than three years after the state's medical marijuana program became law, reports Jan Hefler at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"Only force majeure could stop us... or acts of God," said William Thomas, chief executive at Compassionate Care Foundation, as he monitored the progress of his $1.7 million renovation project last week.
Although three previous launch dates have failed to materialize, the plan now has momentum, according to Thomas.
Once Compassionate Care gets the final go-ahead from New Jersey to begin cultivation, 2,000 marijuana seeds will be imported from Spain, which produces strains that target spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, Thomas said. Lights are being installed in the 85,000-square-foot warehouse to grow the crop.