A medical marijana business that just got the first permit in New Jersey to begin growing weed will keep the location of its indoor cultivation center under wraps.
"We’re not at liberty to tell you where the growing facility is. The state requires that for security reasons," said Julio Valentin, an owner of the Greenleaf Compassion Center.
But Valentin freely says the dispensary will be located on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair in a former head shop.
"It used to be Inner Eye Boutique. It was a head shop, ironically," said Valentin, a onetime Newark cop. The shop, which sold marijuana paraphenlia, had been vacant a year or two and had to be renovated, he said.
Valentin says he and and his longtime friend, Joseph Stevens, the CEO of Greenleaf, will be meeting with state officials next week to "get a timeline" of the program before they start planting seeds. The two-year-old program has had false starts and they don't want to be stuck with a plant harvest the state won't allow them to readily sell.
Out of frustration with past delays, Stevens recently threatened to quit, even after investing $280,000 in the buildings.
At a press conference this week, Gov. Christie's response was “I wish he would just stop complaining. We’re making progress." Christie said in the past that he never would have signed the legislation, which created the program in the final days of the Corzine administration.
Last week, Rich Caporusso, a patient with Crohn's Disease and severe muscle spasms, sued the state Department of Health and Senior Services, saying the delays were intentional and sick people are suffering.
Then, earlier this week, the state published a physicians registry. It lists more than 100 doctors who are eligible to dispense the drug to patients suffering from terminal cancer, HIV-AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's Disease and several other qualified ailments. The registry is available here: https://njmmp.nj.gov/docs/homepage/Physician_Registry.pdf