TRENTON - A state lawmaker wants to hold hearings on why it's taking so long for New Jersey's medical marijuana program to get up and running.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora called for the hearings last week. The Trenton Democrat says the state's administration should explain the delays.

The medical marijuana program has mostly been delayed because it took time for officials to adopt regulations and for the nonprofit marijuana dispensary operators to get permission to open from towns.

The state planned to have dispensaries open by July 2011. But the first one to operate legally now won't open until at least late August.

Gusciora says the delays have come at the expense of patients who could get some relief from using marijuana.

Montclair marijuana dispensary could open next month