TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey Department of Health announced it has issued its first license to a medical marijuana dispensary.

Officials said Greenleaf Compassionate Care in Montclair has submitted all the necessary paperwork and cleared all the hurdles to open.

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WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

The dispensary will not be able to open immediately but can begin scheduling appointments with qualified patients, state health commissioner Mary O’Dowd said.

“That can relate to anything from identifying appropriate staffing as well as scheduling visits with qualifying patients,” O’Dowd told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “This is a significant step in moving forward on the full implementation of the program.”

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The potency of the marijuana dispensed for medicinal purposes will be regulated by the state, as prescribed by the law.

“It’s much more highly regulated, it’s physician driven, it’s based on a physician identifying patients that are appropriate,” O’Dowd said. “We will work with Greenleaf so that they can either grow their product line availability or pull it back if the demand is less than anticipated.”

Five other centers picked by the state to act as dispensaries are in the planning stages.

New Jersey’s medical marijuana law passed nearly three years ago. New Jersey is one of 16 states, along with the District of Columbia, that allows the use of medical marijuana.

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