Today is a landmark day in both New Jersey and Arizona, as both states will see the opening of their first legal medical marijuana dispensaries.
In New Jersey, the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair will begin serving patients today. Twenty patients are registered to go to the collective and each will be able to bring home a half ounce of marijuana.
Greenleaf received its operating permit in October, but waited to hear back about the state’s stance on levying a sales tax on medical marijuana before their opened. Last week, Governor Christie’s administration announced that the state’s 7% sales tax will apply to medical marijuana.
Arizona’s first legal medical marijuana collective will also open today. Arizona Organix in Glendale will open this morning, which is bittersweet news for many in the Phoenix area.
Arizona’s medical marijuana law only allows patients to grow their own marijuana if they live further than 25 miles from a dispensary. Now that Arizona Organix is opening, that means that everyone in a 25 mile radius will be forced to stop growing their own medicine. So for those who prefer to grow for themselves, the opening of the shop is nothing to celebrate. Others, however, who do not have the resources to grow for themselves, are thankful to finally have safe and legal access to medical marijuana nearby.
The opening of Arizona Organix comes after Maricopa County Court Judge Michael Gordon ruled that Arizona’s medical marijuana law is not preempted by federal law.
Both New Jersey and Arizona’s medical marijuana laws were passed in 2010.