New Jersey’s medical marijuana program opened on Wednesday; the first pharmacy was added as part of the medical marijuana development plan led by the governor.
Located in Bellmawr, the pharmacy, formerly known as Compassionate Sciences, opened a store in front of the existing site, which will become the pharmacy’s cultivation space. Compassionate Sciences is now called Curaleaf, named after the company that now owns it.
“Our expansion into a larger pharmacy reflects not only the growth of Curaleaf but also the progression of access to medical marijuana within the state,” George Schidlovsky, president of Curaleaf, New Jersey, said in a statement.
He added that the new location will allow the ambulance to serve more patients than it currently does. Curaleaf also operates pharmacies in several other states.
This is the first pharmacy to open a new location since Governor Phil Murphy announced his plan to extensively expand the New Jersey medical marijuana program, a plan that has expanded the program to comprise some general medical conditions.
Earlier this month, the State Health Commissioner, Dr. Shereef Elnahal stated that the medical marijuana program in Jersey sees more than 100 people every day. Since the opening ceremony, a total of 4,200 patients have been connected, bringing the total number of patients to more than 20,000.
“This shows that it was necessary to catch up,” Elnahal said, as the patient numbers were revealed. “People with chronic pain now have the option of taking medical marijuana instead of opiates, and there are more than 100 strains available.”
Curaleaf was the first pharmacy to obtain permission from the state to expand its operations, but others craved to join them. According to the Ministry of Health, five applications from three of the state pharmacies for satellite sites are pending.
Both the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge and the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair have told NJ Advance Media their expansion plans, although both have refused to give details.