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(TRENTON) – Deputy Majority Leader Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton) stated today he was encouraged by both the Governor’s office and the Department of Health and Senior Services imminent release of the medical marijuana dispensaries’ regulations. The Assemblyman and his staff has had several discussions with senior administration officials over the recent weeks about the proposed regulations.

“I am pleased to see the medical marijuana law becoming a reality,” Gusciora said. “I know that the Department of Health has been working tirelessly to see this through efficiently, successfully, and safely. I am confident that New Jersey’s medical marijuana program will be a model for other states.”

Legislation sponsored by the Assemblyman back in June gave DHSS additional time to unveil the proposed medical marijuana regulations. It is expected that the state’s first dispensary will open in 2011.

“This is really about the patients and alleviating their suffering,” continued Gusciora. “But with the proposed regulations in place, patients will finally be able to seek the treatment that they’ve been waiting for.”

Once the regulations are finalized and publically released, DHSS will open up the application process for those who qualify to operate a dispensary. Patients who will be issued a state medicinal marijuana I.D. card will then be eligible to visit the nearest regional dispensary and obtain medical marijuana.

“It has been a long process, and we still have a little way to go yet,” concluded Gusciora. “But finally, New Jersey is going to be able to give compassionate care to those suffering from the most serious and debilitating diseases. While I have some reservations about the plan, I applaud the Governor reaching out to all stakeholders involved in the process to ensure the intent of the legislation is carried out.”