New Jersey officials say the state's medical marijuana regulations will take effect Dec. 19, clearing the way for legal growing and dispensing operations to begin sometime in 2012.

The state Health and Senior Services Department posted a notice on its website Wednesday night stating that the regulations will be finalized.

The state says it won't change any of the rules from the version made public earlier this year. Medical marijuana advocates panned many of the details, including one that restricts the potency of pot in a way no other state that allows medical marijuana has done so far.

Six nonprofit groups have licenses to grow and sell cannabis to patients with certain conditions. But none has its final permit yet.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)