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.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

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.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal