New Jersey gives Green Light to Medical Marijuana Registration

Montclair Business set to open in September

Diane Lilli

The online registration forms to sign up in New Jersey to buy legal, medical marijuana is about to go live.

The new website is being hosted by the New Jersey Department of Health, and will be a portal for both patients and doctors to use in order to make signing up for medial marijuana easy to manage.

With the first medical marijuana site in the state about to open its doors in
only a few weeks, in September, this is good news for the business owners
that own Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair.

This marijuana dispensary will located on Bloomfield Avenue, but don't expect to see people go in and then come back outside to light up.
There are strict rules about where a patient may smoke their pot.

The state will have patients fill out a form with all of their information. However, a medical physician must also fill out a form for patients.
Then, patients will email a photo, fill out the form, and also choose which dispensary they will purchase their marijuana from, which in this case would be Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair in early September.

Costs will be about $200 per patient. Medicaid will be accepted.

Do You Qualify? Here is the state's information:

In order to become a registered patient with the MMP(Medical Marijuana Program), you must:

  • Maintain a bona fide relationship with a physician who is registered with the program.

    A bona fide relationship is defined as a relationship in which the physician has ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care, and treatment of a patient’s debilitating medical condition. Whereby:
    • The physician-patient relationship has existed for at least one year;
    • The physician has seen and/or assessed the patient for the debilitating medical condition on at least four visits; or
    • The physician assumes responsibility for providing management and care of the patient’s debilitating medical condition after conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination, including a personal review of the patient’s medical record maintained by other treating physicians reflecting the patient’s reaction and response to conventional medical therapies.
  • Be a New Jersey resident. 

  • Be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a New Jersey physician registered with the MMP.

Approved debilitating medical conditions include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Terminal cancer
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life.

The following conditions apply, if resistant to, or if the patient is intolerant to, conventional therapy:

  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Glaucoma

The following conditions apply, if severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia or wasting syndrome results from the condition or treatment thereof:

  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Cancer


Sex and Drugs and Rockn'Roll: Legal In Montclair, Pot is approved for One Commissary
Non-Profit is a new color of green - and will offer medical marijuana for ill patients

Last week, the Greenleaf Compassion Center, a medical marijuana dispensary located in Montclair, was still waiting for approval from the state to open its doors for business. But paying the rent in the bustling downtown area can be hard when you are not legally allowed to serve any potential customers.

The company, according to co-owner Julio Valentine, did not have 501c3 nonprofit status, but is still legally recognized by the state as a not for profit business. But with rent payments due every month, and no clientele legally allowed to pay for their services, it's been putting a sizable dent in the company’s resources.

“People who qualify and who cannot afford it, we were going to give them a discounted price,” said Valentine. “But as time goes by, funds are being depleted. We are paying rent when we are still not open. It’s looking like we are not going to help out as many people as we wanted to. But we want to still try to get free or reduced price medication for people who don’t have the funds.”

But this all changed yesterday - the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services gave the approval to the Greenleaf Compassion Center to open. Now, this company can plant their mariujuana and get ready to open.

As per cost, it’s still - up in the air.

Some residents have joked this will be the new small area where "sex, drugs and rockn' roll" will be evident, since the Greenleaf Compassion Center is located on Bloomfield Avenue, across from the former Eclectic Cafe, a block from the Wellmont and across from a women's clinic that is often being picketed by anti-abortion rights' advocates.

“We are waiting for the state to finalize everything, and,“ he said, somewhat exacerbated, “we’re just waiting for the state. It will be affordable to patients. We are doing the best we can to do it at a more discounted price and possibly for free.”

The compassion this medical marijuana business is attempting to show may have roots in how the company went from just an idea to a possibly reality.

“My business partner is the CEO of Greenleaf. Joseph Stevens. We are longtime friends. It was his idea,” said Valentine. “His father had cancer and has since passed away. We have seen the benefits of medicinal marijuana.”

Approved conditions that will warrant a medical marijuana prescription include "cancer, glaucoma, seizure and/or spasticity disorders (including epilepsy), Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease), any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year."

As to how it will work, don't expect to see people walking around or driving as they smoke pot.
Medical marijuana is sold in tiny containers - that are not clear - and are not supposed to be opened and used until the patient gets home.
And, this medical marijuana is only available after a doctor writes a prescription.
The law requires patients to be seen by their physicians on a regular basis.

The Montclair business is one of only 6 approved in the state of New Jersey to sell medical marijuana.

Now, a date must be set for a grand opening - and hopefully there will be a ribbon cutting at this Bloomfield Avenue location.

To stay afloat as best at they can, donations are being accepted at PO Box, Greenleaf Compassion Center 1208 Montclair, NJ 07042.

And, in case you are wondering, since this is a non-profit organization, you donations are - tax deductible.

Expected date of opening is still uncertain, but could be withing 4 months.

Governor Jon Corzine signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act into law on January 18, 2010. It has been stalled for a little over 2 years, as the state grappled with numerous legal and practical issues.