Director of New Jersey medical marijuana program resigns

The director of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has resigned after 3½ years running a system frequently criticized by advocates for easier access to the drug.

The state Health Department confirmed that John O’Brien left the post on April 4. His departure was reported by NJ.com.

The department says O’Brien’s family is moving to another state.

O’Brien served 26 years in the state police before taking over the program.

His top assistant, James Baracia, is now the acting director.

Three dispensaries have opened in New Jersey since medical cannabis was legalized five years ago. A fourth is scheduled to open this summer, but two others are farther away from opening.

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