New Jersey Issues First Permit for Medical Marijuana

New Jersey issued its first permit to a medical marijuana distributor, and expects it to begin dispensing by year end, Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said.

Montclair’s nonprofit Greenleaf Compassion Center has satisfied New Jersey’s permitting law, O’Dowd told reporters on a conference call today. About 320 patients, with such “debilitating medical conditions” as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, inflammatory bowel disease, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS and terminal cancer, have been registered to get the drug or are in the process, O’Dowd said. Greenleaf will grow its own plants in an undisclosed location.

The possession and distribution of marijuana is illegal under U.S. and state law. In October 2009, President Barack Obama’s administration told federal prosecutors not to file charges against legitimate dispensaries and their patrons.

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., have approved medical marijuana laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan research group based in Denver.

– Read the entire article at Bloomberg Businessweek.