New Jersey Monthly November 2014
The dark-glass storefront of 395 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair gives no hint of what’s inside. A security guard—unarmed—stands at a podium outside the store with a list of people to be admitted for the day. The guard confirms a visitor’s identity, then punches in a code on the keypad to unlock the door. The password changes daily.
Inside, the atmosphere is soothing. “How much pain are you in right now?” asks a sign at the reception desk. The visitor chooses from among five cartoon symbols, ranging from a bright smiley face to one crying in agony.
This is the waiting room of the Greenleaf Compassion Center, one of New Jersey’s three medical marijuana dispensaries. Opened in December 2012, it was the first such Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) on the East Coast.