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New Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opening In NJ

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EGG HARBOR TWP., N.J. -

Starting Monday, there's one more place to go for medical marijuana in New Jersey.

This dispensary is about to open its doors.

So who's eligible? And what goes into making sure supply meets demand? FOX 29's Jennifer Joyce took a tour today.

The dispensary is where you will purchase your medication. Beginning this week, qualifying patients can come to this Egg Harbor Township facility to buy medical marijuana.

The Compassionate Care Foundation's facility marks only the second medical marijuana plant to open in New Jersey. General Manager Tom Prendergast showed us around.

In a temperature controlled room, three different strains of the marijuana crop are planted under fluorescent lighting that stays on 24 hours a day

"They're watered, fertilized well cared for," Prendergast said.

One strain does not contain THC. Prendergast says it's meant for children.

"When they're 6 to 9 inches high we'll send them to the grow room," he said.

In the grow room, Prendergast tells us roughly 100 lights cycle on and off every 12 hours until a mature crop is ready to be harvested.

"This is the jar it gets packaged in…either 1/8 ounce or 1/4 ounce," he said.

Legally, each patient is only allowed to buy up to 2 ounces of marijuana per month, and to buy it, "You have to have one of the 8 debilitating diseases that the state listed as a requirement."

Prendergast says Diane Riportella, who suffered from ALS, would have qualified for this treatment, and he said, "MS, ALS many patients want it for relief."

Riportella testified before lawmakers and fought to get the compassionate care act signed into law.

"She is probably the reason we're here today," he said. "… Unfortunately she passed last year before we opened."

Riportella's plaque can serve as a reminder to the thousands of people in the state of New Jersey who can now take advantage of this alternative medicine.

The Compassionate Care Foundation has plans in the works to fill this space with a second grow room because they're anticipating that the medical marijuana will be in high demand.

So far, roughly 600 patients have signed up, Joyce reported.

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