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Still No Decision On Medical Pot Farm In Central NJ [AUDIO]

Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media

Over a hundred people for and against a proposed medical marijuana farm packed Allentown High School in Upper Freehold Township Tuesday night.

After more than two hours of public comment, there is still no decision on whether the rural community will become the first in the state to approve a medical pot facility that would serve central Jersey.

Prior to the start of the meeting, the Upper Freehold Township committee said they would not make a decision on the proposal and that all paperwork for Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center’s application is being reviewed.

Dr. Curtis Byrnes, an Upper Freehold Townshp physician, said he opposes the facility due to lack of security. “We don’t have our own police force and this would compromise the safety our children and families.”

A majority of residents echoed Byrnes’ sentiments, citing a rural code that wouldn’t allow such facilities in town.

“The quality of life in our community is going to be so severly compromised that we won’t be able to recognize Upper Freehold any longer” said one woman.

Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media

“This is not only a safety issue, its something that we really need to consider in the long run and I’m not convinced based on this proposal that our town is the right place for this facility” said another man.

But Charles Kwiatkowski, a Hazlet resident with multiple sclerosis, said he’s frustrated with the state’s long delays in implementing the new law. “The longer they take, the more people die without that last game of monopoly with their children or grandchildren, until you have a serious illness you will never understand what its like.”

Another woman in favor of the proposal said she’s not confident a site will ever get approved in the state, “when you have towns like Upper Freehold that have a country code allowing agriculture and then they say well not in our town, that just seems to be the feeling in a lot of communities, we like it, but just not in our town.”

Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center has submitted a zoning application to build two greenhouses and a farm building in town.

According to Breakwater’s application, the Rues Road facility would only cultivate and process marijuana. The drug would be dispensed to registered patients at another still-to-be-determined location.

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