Montclair’s Greenleaf Compassion Center, the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, emerged from several years in the planning, licensing and regulatory stages, to officially open for business this morning.
Julio Valentin, Jr., COO of Greenleaf, located at 395 Bloomfield Avenue, said they were expecting between 20 and 30 customers today. All of them were prescribed the unconventional treatment by physicians, have registered with the state and received a special identification card. Back in October, Greenleaf told Baristanet that about 320 patients have signed up, while more than 175 physicians have registered.
Although no one other than card-carrying patients will be allowed inside, a news crew from NBC-TV was given a sneak peek of the facility, which has been described as a soothing, spa-meets-doctor’s-office environment. All patients have to make an appointment at Greenleaf. No walk-ins or curiosity seekers are allowed. “Unless you have your medical marijuana card you can’t come in,” Valentin said.
Citing privacy considerations, Greenleaf principals were unable to answer questions posed at a brief press conference this morning about the nature of the patients’ ailments, or where in the state they may be traveling from to obtain the product. Valentin notes, “Our intention is never to take care of whole state of New Jersey — it’s impossible, but we will do our best”
Cannabis has been shown to relieve extreme pain, staunch nausea and vomiting, and stimulate hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, and to lower eye pressure for glaucoma sufferers. Valentin explained,”Different strains are made specifically for different types pain relief; so we have a low, medium, high level — which, no pun intended — is more of pain management, depending on level of pain.”
Marijuana is already legal for medical use in 18 states and the District of Columbia (and was recently approved for legal recreational use in Colorado), and many eyes are trained on Greenelaf and the facility’s Montclair location.
Here’s a video Baristanet shot at this morning’s press briefing.