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Urban News Staff Reports

The New Jersey Department of Health recently issued permits allowing Zen Leaf Elizabeth (Verano, NJ) in Elizabeth and Columbia Care in Vineland to begin dispensing medical marijuana. This brings the total number of operating dispensaries in the state to 11.
“It is critical that we continue to expand access for patients especially during these unprecedented times,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “ The availability of these new ATCs will provide residents in the northern and southern parts of the state better access to products they need to treat their conditions.”
Zen Leaf Elizabeth opened May 29 and Columbia Care will open this month.
The nine other ATCs currently dispensing include Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair, The Botanist (Compassionate Care Foundation) of Egg Harbor and Atlantic City, Garden State Dispensary of Woodbridge and Union Township, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury, Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus and Rise in Paterson.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Department has been committed to helping all sectors of our healthcare system respond including the medicinal marijuana market,” Persichilli said.
In March, the Department issued several waivers to improve ATC operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  These included waivers that allowed for curbside pick-up, telephonic consultations (instead of in-person), volume-based discounts and reduced caregiver fees.  
Participation in the program continues to grow. There are currently over 77,000 patients, 3,000 caregivers and 1,100 physicians enrolled.
Patients and caregivers can visit the Division of Medicinal Marijuana’s website if they choose to change their preferred ATC. The change can also be made by calling the Customer Service Unit of the Division at 844-419-9712 and does not require changing ID cards.
Patients can refer to the FAQ section of the website for additional information. Active physicians enrolled in the program are listed by county and medical specialty.
New Jersey residents interested in registering for medicinal marijuana can go to the state’s Division of Medicinal Marijuana website. Registration requires an authorization by a participating physician. 

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