The Brick Township Board of Adjustment approved a settlement Wednesday night that will help put an end to a two-year battle over a proposal to put a medical marijuana dispensary at the site of a former bank on Adamston Road.
Under the settlement, Brick Township will pay the owners of 385 Adamston LLC $25,000; in return, 385 Adamston LLC will drop the lawsuit it filed against the township, its Planning Board and zoning board the proposal that started as a medical marijuana dispensary and morphed into a proposed aquaponic lettuce farm.
Earlier this week, I told you that Brick drew a hard line in the sand against cannabis dispensaries moving into town. According to Patch.com, it looks like the next town to take a stand is Point Pleasant Beach. Keeping the actual dispensaries out of town is under strong consideration as long as they can ensure that delivery services are allowed for people over 21 to be used at their homes.
The new ordinance introduced Tuesday night would replace the ban the township placed on marijuana businesses of all kinds in March 2019. A second reading and adoption is scheduled for April 27.
The new ordinance comes in response to the state legislation that accompanied the legalization of adult recreational marijuana use, which was approved by New Jersey voters in the November election.
The department posted a statement to Facebook Friday afternoon, urging additional changes to the law Murphy signed Feb. 22 legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana.
"The bill that just got signed into law about parental notification doesn't go far enough in fixing the language," the police department's post said. "The existing legislation still threatens serious sanctions on officers who approach minors observed using marijuana and alcohol when that observation is based on odor."
The property once proposed as the site for a medical marijuana dispensary has been put up for sale, but the lawsuit filed against Brick Township by the group that sought to open the dispensary is moving forward.
The 6.7-acre parcel at 385 Adamston Road has been listed for sale with Lakis Commercial Realty in Brick with an asking price of $799,000, according to Loopnet.com. The property listing, posted on Monday, notes the parcel is in a rural residential zone and had received a use variance for a retail bank in 1976.
Brick Township is not backing down from a lawsuit filed by the owners of an Adamston Road property that was the latest move the fight over the controversial plans for the site, the township's attorney.
At Tuesday's Township Council meeting, residents in the immediate proximity of the former bank site at 385 Adamston Road who have been opposing the proposal asked for the township's stance on the lawsuit that was filed Aug. 8.
Brick Township’s planning board, zoning board and the township as a whole is being sued by the owners of the former bank property originally proposed as a medical marijuana dispensary and grow house.
As Grimes sang, "Keep your cancer home, dear," Pontoriero sat up and looked at him. After the song, she spoke up, and called the song offensive, saying it implied the township has banned the use of medical marijuana.
"It's offensive to me as a Stage 4 cancer victim," said Pontoriero, who has been battling a rare oral cancer for two years. "I don't want anyone watching who may be a cancer victim to think they cannot partake in medical marijuana." You can watch the exchange below; it begins 1 hour, 49 minutes into the meeting.
Edward “Lefty” Grimes of Bayonne, a marijuana activist travels to town meetings across the state to advocate for the legalization of marijuana. Grimes said he lost his brother-in-law to opioid abuse just last week.”
“We had to tell his daughter that daddy’s not coming home,” Grimes said. “He didn’t have access to cannabis. “In Brick, you’re going to be giving out hundreds of doses of Narcan this summer…and there’s no cannabis in this town.”
Move over, medical marijuana and industrial hemp. Lettuce is the new product a prospective cultivator hopes to grow off Adamston Road.
Anne Davis, co-owner of Jersey Shore Therapeutic Health Care, which earlier this year scrapped plans to build a medical marijuana dispensary on the site of a former bank, said indoor lettuce cultivation makes sense.
"There’s a huge market for indoor leafy greens and lettuces," said Davis. "It’s become so much more in demand."