A non-profit company, the Harmony Foundation, was granted a permit by one of the nations’ largest cannabis opponent in Chis Christie, to build a massive dispensary in the Meadowlands. Christie reluctantly took charge of medical marijuana in New Jersey almost eight years ago when he took office and placed the strictest of rules on the industry and made the prices for cannabis extravagant.
Christie’s term as Governor of New Jersey is coming to an end soon and the state is now considering legislation for legalized recreational marijuana which Christie will not endorse. Do you think its worth having any sort of legalized cannabis market if you are going to drive prices way above the illegal market’s prices?
The Meadowlands — already set to be the home of the state’s largest shopping and entertainment complex — will also be the site of the state’s largest dispensary of medical marijuana.
Once it opens for business, the dispensary plans to serve up to 4,000 patients a month with a variety of strains of cannabis.
The Christie administration this week issued a permit to grow medical marijuana to Harmony Foundation and will consider issuing a permit to dispense marijuana after the crop is tested later this year.
The nonprofit foundation will operate the 10,000-square-foot facility on Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus.
“After two years of designing and constructing this state-of-the-art facility, we are excited to finally put it into action,” said Shaya Brodchandel, Harmony’s president and CEO. The strains selected “are well suited for New Jersey medical patients’ conditions and to our unique growing system,” he said.
The medical marijuana growing facility for Harmony Foundation, on Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus. (Photo: courtesy of Harmony Foundation)
New Jersey currently has 13,200 patients registered to purchase medical marijuana, which can prescribed for certain medical conditions only by physicians who have registered with the program.
Medical marijuana in New Jersey is the most expensive in the country, according to Ken Wolski, the head of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey. It sells for about $500 an ounce, he said.
The state Legislature has begun considering a measure to legalize recreational marijuana, which is projected to generate as much as $300 million in tax revenue. Phil Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor, has said he favors legalization. That would make it easier to purchase marijuana and would change the environment in which dispensers of medical marijuana operate.
Once the Secaucus center opens, New Jersey will have six marijuana dispensaries, which state officials call alternative treatment centers. The others are in Montclair, Egg Harbor, Woodbridge, Cranbury and Bellmawr in Camden County.
Former Gov. Jon Corzine signed New Jersey’s law allowing compassionate use of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions in 2010, leaving it for Gov. Chris Christie to implement.
Christie, who vehemently opposes legalization of recreational marijuana, enacted some of the strictest regulations in the nation for medicinal marijuana.
Wolski said he welcomed the new dispensary, but added: “We’re very disappointed with the pace of the process.” Approval of the sixth center, he said, “is long overdue.” The law had anticipated that additional centers would be approved by the state after the first six.
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