New Jersey's Health Department says it's issuing its first license to allow a medical marijuana dispensary to open.

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Oficials announced Monday that Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Montclair has cleared all the hurdles to open.

"This permit marks a significant step forward in the implementation of New Jersey's Medicinal Marijuana Program and allows Greenleaf Compassion Center to begin dispensing medicinal marijuana to qualified patients," said New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "The Department is working with all ATCs to ensure the program serves patients safely and securely."

O'Dowd said she expects the dispensary will not be able to open immediately. But she says the center can begin scheduling appointments with qualified patients.

Approximately 320 patients have either registered with the program or are in the process of completing registration, while more than 175 physicians have registered.

Five other centers have been picked by the state and are in planning stages.


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