Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation, Inc. of Woodbridge has been issued a permit by the New Jersey Department of Health to begin growing medicinal marijuana. The permit was issued after a comprehensive review including several site inspections, background checks of its corporate officers and a review of its security operations and cultivation facility.
Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation, Inc. is the first Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) in the central region of the state to receive a permit to grow medicinal marijuana.
"This permit marks another meaningful step in the ongoing progress of the program by allowing a third ATC to begin growing," said Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "It will give patients more options to choose from in terms of geographic locations and the number of available strains."
Once a permit to grow has been issued, it takes approximately three to four months to cultivate and prepare the medicinal marijuana for distribution. Once the product has been tested by the state laboratory and the dispensary is operational and inspected by the Medicinal Marijuana Program, a second permit will be issued to operate and dispense as an ATC.
Once Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation is permitted to operate as an ATC, patients will be notified by email of the opening date and the procedure for registering with the Woodbridge ATC. Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation has indicated it expects to open later this year.
Patients and caregivers began registering Monday, Aug. 5, 2013 with another ATC, Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF) in Egg Harbor Twp., which expects to begin dispensing in mid-September.
Patients can choose any ATC regardless of where they live. Changing ATCs does not require a new identification card. There is no cost to change ATC registration, but patients can only register with one ATC at a time.
Approximately 1,200 patients are registered with the Medicinal Marijuana Program. The 234 physicians enrolled in the program are listed by county and medical specialty. A complete list of physicians participating in the program can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/find_phy_pat.shtml.
Several other ATCs are in various stages of approval.
Additional information about the program, including contact information for the ATCs, is available at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/index.shtml. The Medicinal Marijuana Program customer service number is 609-292-0424.