(Philly) Gov. Christie has proposed a $1.6 million budget for New Jersey’s three-year-old medical marijuana program - more than twice the current spending plan - in anticipation that more dispensaries will open this year.
So far, only one of the six nonprofits that the state selected as dispensary operators two years ago has opened for business. In December, Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, Essex County, began selling the drug to the first wave of the more than 800 registered patients. Many patients are on a waiting list.
The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1, is based on the expectation that more dispensaries “will come on line as they get local approval to open and operate in communities,” Michael Drewniak, Christie’s spokesman, wrote in an e-mail. “That will require more resources from the state in terms of inspection, product testing, and supervision.
The current budget is $784,000.
The increased funding will pay for additional staff to cover those tasks and to conduct background checks, which include an investigation of the finances of the dispensary operators and boards, said Donna Leusner, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health.
TRENTON, N.J. (Philly) - The New Jersey Department of Health apologized Wednesday to medical marijuana patients for sending them an email that disclosed the email addresses , and in some cases, the names , of all the program participants.
The department said in a statement that it is working to avoid repeating the mistake.
The email, sent Tuesday, was the latest complication for the new program. The Health Department sent the email to advise patients that their required appointments preceding marijuana purchases will be made by Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, not the state.
Some patients were angry about the communique that compromised their personal information.