Eyes on Harrisburg as Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens in South Jersey

BELLMAWR, NJ (WTXF) - New Jersey's latest medical marijuana dispensary is open for business.

It's the fourth dispensary to open in the state, and is the closest to Philadelphia.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell got a look inside look at the new facility Tuesday.

They opened their doors Monday and in the first 2 days about a hundred patients walked through the doors of the area's first medical marijuana dispensary.

The closest facility to Philadelphia, the dispensary is expected to be the busiest in the state.

Jay Lassiter just bought a quarter ounce of high grade pot.

It's a day he's been waiting for, for years.

"Medical cannabis personally elevates the side effects of various powerful medications I take to keep my HIV in check," Lassiter explained.

Behind the walls of this non-descript building in a Bellmawr industrial park sits Compassionate Sciences, New Jersey's newest medical marijuana dispensary.

General Manager Mike Nelson took FOX 29 on an exclusive tour of the dispensary. More like a pharmacy than a head shop.

On display, are samples of high grade cannabis with exotic names like blackberry Kush and Blue Dream.

Behind the scenes, is a steady stream of pot production.

"This is where they flower and then we harvest them from this room after about 9 weeks," Nelson explained.

From small plants, to the harvest, and then to the trimming and packaging room.

That's where buds of cannabis are weighed bagged, labeled and readied for sale.

"A lot of people coming here that have serious conditions and ailments that are looking for an alternative to pharmaceuticals," Nelson explained.

The only customers allowed in are the 5,500 New Jersey residents who hold medical marijuana cards. Patients suffer from a dozen qualifying conditions like multiple sclerosis, cancer, and glaucoma just to name a few.

But some are wondering with Delaware and New Jersey now planted in medical marijuana, is Pennsylvania next? Right now it's up to Harrisburg.

Managers at Compassionate Sciences say they've already hosted a few Pennsylvania lawmakers to the facility who wanted to know more about the operation.

The dispensary is open 7 days a week.