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More No’s On The Way For NJ Medical Pot Farms?

Medical Marijuana
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

If residents in Plumsted are feeling anything like those in Upper Freehold Township and Maple Shade, there could be yet another resounding “No” to approval for a medical marijuana treatment center in a town in New Jersey.

Tonight, the Plumsted Township Committee will hold a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to block the medical marijuana farms and vote on its adoption at its next meeting.

Mayor Ron Dancer supports a municipal ordinance that, if adopted, would block the Land-Use Board from approving applications that violate local, state or federal law. The ordinance makes no mention of marijuana, but he says it would prevent such a facility from operating within the town.

The committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the municipal building, 121 Evergreen Road. 

New Jersey’s law, adopted in January 2010, is considered to be the nation’s most stringent, limiting the drug to patients with certain conditions, including multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and terminal cancer — and only letting them have recommendations to use it from doctors they have been seeing for at least a year.  Advocates say the drug can help ease conditions such as nausea and pain.

In October, the zoning board in Maple Shade Township ruled that a combination growing facility and dispensary was not an appropriate use for a vacant building that once housed a furniture store.

More recently, Upper Freehold Township officials adopted an ordinance that would block the town from approving anything that breaks federal law. Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center had announced plans to grow medical marijuana in greenhouses on a farm in the community.

The state government is still working on its regulations for the industry. There have not been any legal marijuana sales in the state yet. The regulations are scheduled to be finalized Dec. 19th.

State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) , the prime sponsor of New Jersey’s medical marijuana law, says its unfortunate that it has taken nearly two years for patients to get the treatment they need for their illnesses.

“I think we have given Governor Christie plenty of latitude to get the program up and running…I think we need to quicken the pace a little bit here.”

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