In Middle Township, one of only four municipalities in Cape May County to authorize cannabis businesses, a deal for a cannabis growing operation on Indian Trail Road has fallen through. Middle supported the Massachusetts-based INSA company in its attempt to rehabilitate the former La Monica plant as a growing site back in October 2021.
La Monica Brands
In the fall, the township supported a proposal to open a cannabis retail store in the Rio Grande section, at a long-vacant site where a diner once stood on Route 9. The township has backed the Massachusetts-based cannabis company Insa, which has plans for a retail location but so far has not been granted a state license.
In November, the township said no to allowing a second retail site, from C3 Middle Township LLC. At that time, Mayor Tim Donohue said he expected to see litigation filed in connection to that decision.
The Massachusetts company, INSA, has already sought a license for medical retail in the township. That effort failed to get state approval during the first rounds of licensing for medical cannabis dispensaries. There is still the potential for an integrated license for cultivation and manufacturing operations at the old La Monica Plant on Indian Trail Road.
The resolution will bolster the efforts of Insa of Easthampton, Massachusetts, to get a state license to grow marijuana for the medical market at a former seafood processing plant, said Committeeman Theron “Ike” Gandy.
As approved, the resolution cites the potential economic benefit of redeveloping an otherwise blighted property.
One neighbor emphatically opposed the plan at the start of the meeting Monday, but the committee has backed the idea for years as Insa has sought one of 24 medical cannabis licenses available in the state.
Despite overwhelmingly being approved by voters in November, recreational marijuana has been slow to garner support at the local level.
Since the bill was signed into law Feb. 22 and guidance was issued on legalized marijuana, towns around the area have been quick to adopt their own legislation all but banning the recreational smoking of marijuana despite voters supporting it by a 67% to 32% margin. All but three of the state’s 565 municipalities voted in favor of it at the polls.
Donohue reiterated the municipality’s support for INSA, a vertically integrated Massachusetts company engaged in the cultivation, manufacture, sale and distribution of cannabis.
The company has plans for a medical marijuana dispensary on the site of the former La Monica plant. The legalization of recreational cannabis in New Jersey led company executives to expand their plans for the site to include the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to other retail outlets outside the municipality.
As other Cape May County towns move to block cannabis-related businesses, Middle Township officials may be heading in the opposite direction.
The Township Committee already supported a proposal for a medical marijuana facility on Indian Trail Road, and members are now considering a request to expand that use to grow for the new adult-use market.
It’s been a little more than a year since representatives of a Massachusetts-based firm pitched a proposal for a medical marijuana facility in a former seafood processing plant on Indian Trail Road.
After a lengthy presentation by representatives of Insa of Easthampton, Massachusetts, the Middle Township Committee voted to support the use, which is part of the application process to receive a state license for medical marijuana.
As part of the Middle Township’s ongoing efforts to boost job creation and economic development, Mayor Tim Donohue, Administrator Kimberly Krauss and a group of township department heads met in early July with the principal owners of INSA, a cannabis cultivation and distribution company based in Massachusetts.