Medical marijuana center still months from opening

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GALLOWAY – The Egg Harbor Township medical marijuana treatment center is still at least five months from opening, the center’s chief operating officer William Thomas said Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The school’s public health program invited Thomas, CEO of Compassionate Care Foundation, to give an update on the status of medical marijuana in New Jersey, according to a college news release.

Eighteen states have legalized medical use of marijuana, and there is currently one alternative treatment center, or ATC, that is operational in New Jersey.  Greenleaf Compassion Center, the first ATC in the state, is located in Montclair. 

Thomas is working to open the second alternative treatment center in Egg Harbor Township at 100 Century Drive, which is located off of Delilah Road.

 Thomas went through the $150,000 application process and 500 pages later, he is five months away from potentially opening Compassionate Care Foundation, an alternative treatment facility in Egg Harbor Township.

Thomas, who previously worked in health insurance for corporations and prisons, explained, “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

 The Compassionate Care Foundation, set to open in August 2013, will create 50 jobs for area community members including interns, farmhands, consultants, security guards, office workers and consultants, the news release stated.

By New Jersey state law, Thomas’ work is legal.  However, federally, his actions may be considered a crime, and if the attorney general were to uncover his activity, it is possible he could receive 20 years in prison. 

 According to Thomas, there are 40,000 New Jersey residents living with the nine conditions with symptoms that can be eased by marijuana. The diseases are cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, Crohn’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, and cerebral palsy, and individuals with only twelve months left to live can also benefit from medical marijuana.  He noted that there are 250,000 people in New Jersey battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. 

 “Marijuana takes away the nausea and restores the appetite,” Thomas said.                               

                    Read more coverage:

Christie approves medical marijuana for New Jersey

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