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Many municipalities are troubled by the unknown because their decisions must be made before they have from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission's regulations in hand.
Mount Laurel and Voorhees are planning on marijuana outlets in their towns, viewing cannabis as a potential source of economic growth.
"There is an economic motivation to having this in the town," Mario DiNatale, the Voorhees director of community and economic development, told 70and73.com. He cited the approximately $360,000 brought in quarterly in Bellmawr from medical marijuana alone.
One challenge is the growing number of municipalities across the state that have enacted bans on the budding industry. According to NJ.com, dozens of cities and towns have preemptively blocked the sale of recreational cannabis within their borders. South Jersey municipalities that have passed bans include Bridgeton in Cumberland County, Lumberton in Burlington County, Manning Township and Upper Pittsgrove in Salem County, and Pleasantville and Somers Point in Atlantic County.
Voters in Tuesday’s midterm election approved a public question that would allow the city to permit medical marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities within its limits.
According to election results from the Cumberland County Clerk’s Office, more than 60 percent of voters in the city’s 36 districts approved the question — 8,968 voted yes, while 5,896 voted no.
The nonbinding referendum was placed on the ballot to gauge public opinion on the potential of the medical marijuana industry and its future in the city.
The proposal is a joint venture of Academy Medical LLC and Green Leaf Medical LLC. Academy Medical was incorporated for this venture with Green Leaf Medical, which will manage the cultivation facility and any dispensaries that open in other municipalities.
Green Leaf Medical is a Maryland-based company that already grows medical grade marijuana, or cannabis, in several northeastern states. Its search for a base in New Jersey has led it to a large building here at 1301 N. 10th St.