Plans For Marijuana Dispensary Switched To Lettuce Farm


This constructing was initially sited for a marijuana cultivation and shelling out enterprise. (Picture by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – There have been numerous twists and turns in an utility by Jersey Shore Therapeutic Well being Care (JSTHC) which initially sought permission to construct a 48,000-square-foot develop home to domesticate and promote medical marijuana at 385 Adamston Highway, on the location of a former OceanFirst Financial institution.

  The proposal
resulted in a standing room solely crowd throughout an October 2018 Board of
Adjustment assembly, when there have been heated exchanges between neighboring residents,
who had been against the appliance, and pro-marijuana people and teams.

  In March – within the wake of a brand new township ordinance that prohibits the retail sale, cultivation, manufacturing and testing of leisure marijuana within the township – JSTHC mentioned they had been taking gross sales out of the appliance, however they nonetheless needed to make use of the property to domesticate and manufacture marijuana within the 48,000 square-foot develop home.

There was a variety of opposition to the marijuana plan. (Picture by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  JSTHC’s legal professional
Dennis Galvin requested that the appliance be heard in entrance of the Planning
Board as a substitute of the Zoning Board. For the reason that property was already zoned for
agricultural use, a use variance was not wanted, he mentioned.

  Now, in a latest
flip of occasions, JSTHC needs to develop lettuce within the proposed 48,000-square-foot
develop home.

  Throughout a particular
Board of Adjustment assembly held on Might 30, Board Lawyer Ronald D. Cucchiaro
mentioned JSTHC had transferred the appliance to the Planning Board, “with no
enter from the Board of Adjustment or anyone else; they determined that was the
correct discussion board.”

  However the Planning
Board expressed concern that it lacked jurisdiction, so the appliance was
despatched again to the Board of Adjustment for a “slender and unique perform” for
the board to find out whether or not sure makes use of are permitted within the Rural
Residential zone, he mentioned.

  “This isn’t an
utility looking for approval for a use, so this board is not going to be denying or
approving any type of use on the topic property,” he mentioned.

  “The one factor this
board has been tasked with doing because of the switch from the Planning
Board, is figuring out whether or not sure makes use of are permitted on the property, and
if they’re permitted, meaning the Planning Board can be the right board
for jurisdiction,” Cucchiaro mentioned. “If they don’t seem to be permitted, it might imply
that the [Board of Adjustment] would have jurisdiction.”

  Board members had been
tasked with decoding language in a township ordinance that permits
“customary and traditional” farming within the Rural Residential zone, which is
not zoned for business use.

  “Something that has
to do with being pro- or anti- a specific use, opinions from the general public,
representatives of the developer and others are usually not related to what the Board
has to contemplate,” he mentioned.

  Lawyer for the
applicant Dennis Galvin mentioned he objected to the process. “Our place at
this level is that we merely wish to develop an agricultural product, and I do know
that’s an enormous sea change from what the unique ask was, however we’ve determined to go
on this course,” he mentioned. “The property is zoned agricultural.”

  Galvin mentioned there may be
nothing within the ordinance that prohibits this.

  “Our place is tainted by what occurred beforehand,” he mentioned. “If we had proposed lettuce 10 months in the past, there can be no concern.”

The board mentioned the appliance at a latest assembly. (Picture by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  Edward Liston, an
legal professional who was employed by neighboring residents of the proposed develop home,
mentioned though the appliance went from marijuana to hemp to lettuce, the
proposed  48,000 square-foot constructing has
the identical design, the identical format, identical electrical energy, and even has labs.

  “That tells a story,
it tells a narrative,” Liston mentioned. “It’s disingenuous as a result of they’re laying the
groundwork to do what they deliberate to do at first.”

  Liston referred to as the
plan to develop lettuce “a Malicious program,” and mentioned that “customary and
typical” farming as acknowledged within the ordinance doesn’t embrace indoor

  The Board was requested
to vote on two separate questions. The primary was “Are farming operations in a
constructing this measurement customary and traditional?” And the second query was,
“Is the rising of marijuana and hemp a customary and traditional farming
operation in that zone?”

  They voted
unanimously that the language within the ordinance doesn’t allow medical
marijuana or industrial hemp cultivation within the zone, they usually voted that
indoor cultivation within the proposed 48,000 sq. foot develop home was not
customary or typical.

  After the assembly,
Galvin was requested if his consumer would contemplate eliminating the develop home in
favor of outside farming. He mentioned completely not.

  “We’ve rights, and
our rights aren’t being revered,” Galvin mentioned. “What’s the distinction if it’s
a [48,000 square foot] constructing or homes?”

  Galvin mentioned his
consumer could enchantment the Board’s choice.


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