BRICK - Jersey Shore Therapeutic Health Care has scrapped plans for a medical marijuana dispensary on Adamston Road, instead focusing on its goal of opening a cannabis cultivation center.The company still hopes to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the Shore area. But co-owner Anne Davis said the focus in Brick will now be on getting approval for its 48,000-square-foot marijuana growing facility.
Brick proposes ban on recreational marijuana Peter Ackerman and Amanda Oglesby, Asbury Park Press
The former OceanFirst Bank site, which would have housed the dispensary, will instead be used as office space for the business, she said.FLASHBACK: Medical marijuana dispensary proposed in Brick "I still really want to do a cultivation and processing center here because it's the perfect location," Davis said. "The building is the same, the business is the same. Whether I'm selling it in Brick or at another location, the building operations are the same."
The property already is zoned for agricultural use, meaning the project does not require a variance. That means the project will go before the Brick Planning Board instead of the Zoning Board, Davis said. When the project was first proposed, Jersey Shore THC hoped it would be able to win one of the coveted six new medical marijuana licenses issued by the state last year. But the project faced numerous delays at the Zoning Board and the licenses went to applications elsewhere.
The Jersey Shore is a medical marijuana desert. Despite nearly 17 percent of the state's medical marijuana patients living in Monmouth or Ocean counties, the nearest dispensaries — including those licensed but yet to open — are an hour away.RELATED: Why are there no medical marijuana dispensaries at the Shore?Opponents of the project, largely surrounding neighbors, said a medical marijuana dispensary was simply in the wrong spot. Others feared that medical marijuana patients would consume the drug in their vehicles and drive — which is already illegal under state law. Watch a recap of the Brick medical marijuana hearing in the video above.
Brick medical marijuana: Residents have their say Peter Ackerman Mike Davis
In the wake of the medical marijuana fight, the Township Council has taken up an ordinance that would ban all recreational marijuana businesses in the town. MORE: I spent a night in the NJ marijuana black market. And business is booming.Davis, a former executive director for the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, criticized the ordinance as shortsighted. Brick residents — and medical marijuana patients — are still going to buy weed, she said. "They're still going to consume it in Brick. All the concerns they have about stoned driving, they don't go away with this ban," she said.
By banning not just recreational dispensaries but recreational marijuana-growing facilities, Jersey Shore THC's proposed cultivation center — if approved — would be at a disadvantage to its competitors. The proposed New Jersey marijuana legalization bill would allow licensed medical marijuana growers to begin growing for recreational dispensaries. But the proposed Brick ban on recreational marijuana businesses would prevent that, Davis said. "Every cultivator can flip the switch. Do you think it's a wise business decision for me to box myself out while every other cultivator can serve another market?" Davis asked. "That makes me not want to do business in this town."Mike Davis; @byMikeDavis: 732-643-4223; email@example.com
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