New Jersey Medical Marijuana Registration to Begin Thursday

New Jersey patients with doctors’ recommendations to use marijuana to treat certain health conditions can register for identification cards beginning Thursday as the state prepares for its first legal dispensary to open next month.

“It’s the first time the department will be interacting directly with potential patients and their caregivers,” state Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The announcement comes as the state’s first legal dispensary, Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, N.J., grows its first crop of legal pot for patients. O’Dowd said it’s expected to be ready and fully licensed to open sometime in September.

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for certain patients, even though selling and using the drug remains a violation of federal law.

New Jersey has been perhaps the most cautious of the states to allow it, insisting it’s following what officials call a “medical model.”

The law was signed in January 2010, but no patients have obtained legal cannabis yet.

– Read the entire article at NBC 4 New York.