The ordinance is restricted only to recreational sales and cultivation, and its effects – if any – on a proposed medical dispensary and grow house off Adamston Road are unknown. The controversial medical marijuana facility has drawn outrage from neighboring residents and, in recent weeks, has become a personal battle between the residents and owners of the proposed facility – devolving to threats of litigation and police reports filed for harassment.
Mayor John Ducey
The governor's promise to legalize the use of recreational marijuana has made residents across the state call for towns to ban it. But Brick officials said they wanted to hold off on making any decisions until there was some clear information on where the state was headed on the topic.
Town officials have apparently decided the time to act is now: an ordinance is on the agenda for a first reading at Tuesday's Township Council meeting to ban recreational marijuana in the Brick.
The co-owner of a proposed medical cannabis dispensary and grow house on Adamston Road in Brick Township said she will continue to seek approval for the facility, but only after personal disputes with some objectors to the application are settled.
“We’re definitely not abandoning the project, that’s for sure,” said Anne Davis, a local attorney who co-owns Jersey Shore Therapeutic Health Care (JSTHC), the proposed dispensary, known as an alternative treatment center.
The legalization of recreational marijuana, however, hasn’t been the top issue of its kind in Brick. Instead, a proposal to build a medical marijuana dispensary and grow house in a residential zone has stirred up the most controversy. But the medical marijuana proposal could be the first of many to appear before the township’s zoning board should a recreational market be created in New Jersey.
Brick Township Mayor Ducey has not taken much of a stance on many issues of late, citing his political independence, but when asked last week on his “Facebook Live” session with residents about a public referendum on this year’s election ballot for the sale of marijuana in his town, Ducey ecstatically approved.
“I would love a public referendum, that would be an awesome idea,” Ducey told resident. “We would be able to do that next election…it’s something that we’re definitely looking at.”
After winning his re-election bid last year, Mayor John Ducey held a party. Many political allies and operatives were in attendance, but one man slipped by anyone’s attention until now. According to irate residents one of the attendees at last year’s victory celebration was Joel Allcock. According to Brick Shorebeat, Allcock is the Chief Operating Officer of Jersey Shore Therapeutic Health Care, the company lobbying township officials to build a marijuana dispensary in the township.
Jersey Shore THC was not one of six dispensaries licensed by the state Department of Health on Monday. Despite Ocean County having the second-largest number of medical cannabis patients in the state, neither the proposed Brick dispensary nor any others in the Shore area were licensed. Instead, the state opted to license dispensaries in Phillipsburg, Paterson, Rahway, Ewing, Atlantic City and Vineland – nearly all of which already have a dispensary closer than Brick.
A recreational marijuana dispensary may not find a home in Brick if the plant is legalized in New Jersey, with Mayor John Ducey calling the potential revenue that would be dedicated to municipalities under a bill being considered by the legislature “a joke.”
Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration had initially supported a tax of up to 25 percent on recreational cannabis sales, but two legislative committees this week advanced a bill that would impose a 12 percent tax on sales and allow municipalities where dispensaries would be located to impose an additional 2 percent tax.
Pressed by dozens of residents during a Facebook Live town hall meeting this week to take a position on a proposal to build a medical marijuana dispensary on Adamston Road, Brick Mayor John Ducey said he is legally bound to stay out of the discussion.
“If I’m found to influence the board, it’s ethically wrong and morally wrong, and people find themselves in very hot water – going to jail and what not, about influencing a board,” he said.
Today, according to Shorebeat, mum’s the word for Ducey on Brick’s medical marijuana dispensary, this time fearing jail time.
“If I’m found to influence the board, it’s ethically wrong and morally wrong, and people find themselves in very hot water – going to jail and what not, about influencing a board,” he said in the Shorebeat article.