Despite failing to gain a license in the recent first round of expansion of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, a Brick company will still seek zoning approval to operate a dispensary and construct a 48,000 square foot grow house.
The application of Jersey Shore Therapeutic Healthcare, co-owned by local attorney Anne Davis, will be the sole item on the agenda of the Jan. 9 meeting of the Brick Township Board of Adjustment. The meeting will be held at Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road, in a large space to accommodate a crowd that is likely to swell into the hundreds. So far, there have been two meetings of the board where the application has been discussed: one, in October, where testimony began, and another in November which had to be postponed because there was not enough room in the council chamber at town hall to fit all who wanted to testify on the proposal.
Davis told Shorebeat she is hoping that JSTHC will receive a license from the state in a future round of approvals of new medical dispensaries, known as Alternative Treatment Centers. The timing of when new ATCs may be approved has yet to be determined, however one bill in the package of legislation that would legalize the recreational cannabis market also greatly expands the medical program.
Ocean County has the second-highest number of medical cannabis patients in the state, though it has no dispensaries. From Brick, it would take about an hour to drive to the nearest location to the south or north. The local demand has driven medical marijuana activists to vocally support JSTHC’s application, but residents whose homes neighbor the proposed dispensary – a former OceanFirst bank branch at 385 Adamston Road – have retained an attorney and are formally objecting, arguing the facility and industrial grow house should not be allowed in a residential zone. They have cited concerns over traffic, security and the potential affect on property values. JSTHC’s representatives have said the plot of land on which the bank was located was used as a commercial property since the 1970s despite being located in a residential zone.
The meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. at Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road. (Civic Plaza is also home to the township’s recreation department.)