TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The six organizations licensed to sell marijuana legally to patients in New Jersey have stronger ties to traditional medicine and politics than most legal dispensaries.

The startup groups say their political connections didn’t give them an unfair edge in getting licenses last month from the state Health Department. Sales are expected later this year.

People involved in the groups include the chairman of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, a former acting health commissioner, a state assemblyman and the brother of former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.

The organizations have principals who have run an insurance company, a medical device company and a business that delivered pharmaceutical drugs.

Observers say they got involved because of the state’s tight controls on medical marijuana.

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