By Susan K. Livio of The Star-Ledger
The six legally-sanctioned growers and sellers for New Jersey’s medical marijuana have just been announced by the state health department.
– Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center, Corp., Ocean, Central Region; Board of Trustees/Officers: Richard Lefkowitz, CEO; H. Alexander Zaleski, COO. The ATC would be located in Manalapan, Monmouth County.
– Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation Inc. (CCCAF), Jersey City, Central Region; Board of Directors: David Weisser, Michael Weisser and Anastasia Burlyuk. The ATC would be located in New Brunswick, Middlesex County.
– Compassionate Care Foundation Inc., West Trenton, Southern Region; Board of Trustees: William J. Thomas, David Knowlton, James C. Herrmann, Ann Marie Hill, Jeffrey Warren, JoAnn Lange, Mark Dumoff. The ATC would be located in Bellmawr, Camden County
– Compassionate Sciences, Inc. ATC, Sea Cliff, NY, Southern Region; Board of Trustees, CEO Richard Taney, Dr. Steven Paterno, CFO Jack Burkolder; Webster Todd. The location of the ATC is undetermined, but will be located in either Burlington or Camden County
– Foundation Harmony, Cliffside Park, Northern Region; Board of Directors: Maria Karavas, Ida Umanskaya, Margarita Ivanova and Dmitri Bajanov. The ATC would be in Secaucus, Hudson Countu
– Greenleaf Compassion Center, Montclair, Northern Region; Board of Trustees: Joseph Stevens, president, CEO; Jordan A. Matthews, Robert J. Guarino. The ATC would be in Montclair, Essex County
The state health department released the winning applicants today, despite the Legislature’s intent to repeal the medical marijuana program rules draft by the Christie administration. The law’s Senate sponsors said they would rather overturn the proposed rules and start over, delaying the start of the program, than allow such restrictive regulations to move forward.
The New Jersey Compassionate Use Marijuana Act requires the health department to license two “alternative treatment centers each in the north, central and southern parts of the state, for a total of six. These six centers must be incorporated as nonprofit agencies, according to the state rules.
Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh expects a whole lot more from the selected dispensaries than just cultivating, packaging and selling their crop, and running a commercially viable operation. She expects centers to track patient data, including which strains they are using, and how much, and the medical “outcome” – the benefits and side affects of using medical marijuana.
The state required bidders to pay an $20,000 application, with the promise it would return all but $2,000 to the unselected candidates. Applicants had to show the centers’ location is not in a drug-free school zone, and conforms to local zoning of the applicants have applied for a variance to permit the operation, according to the bidding rules.