Medical marijuana provider sues Mount Holly

MOUNT HOLLY — A nonprofit that wants to market medical marijuana has sued after being denied a site in Burlington County. Compassionate Care Foundation Inc. wants a judge to overturn a decision last month by Westampton’s Land Development Board. The board’s members voted 4-3 against the nonprofit’s plan to grow and sell marijuana at a vacant warehouse on Hancock Lane. In rejecting the proposed facility, the township board said “the intended use … was not a contemplated use” when a local zoning ordinance was adopted, according to the lawsuit. But Compassionate Care argues medical marijuana should be allowed at the site as an agricultural crop. Township officials could not be reached for comment on the suit, which was filed in Superior Court here.

A hearing is scheduled for March 23. Compassionate Care, which is based in Mount Laurel, is one of two state-approved providers of medical marijuana struggling to find a home in South Jersey. The other supplier, Compassionate Sciences ATC, was rebuffed in October when it sought to open a marijuana dispensary at a former furniture store on Route 73. New Jersey legalized medical marijuana in January 2010, authorizing six nonprofit groups to operate in distinct zones across the state. But Gov. Chris Christie, citing concerns over federal laws against the drug’s sale, did not give his approval until July of last year. So far, no marijuana has been sold legally in New Jersey and at least four town boards have turned away the businesses.

A Camden property owner, Ilan Zaken, also wants approval to lease two commercial buildings in the Gateway area to a state-approved supplier. The city’s zoning board on Monday night considered Zaken’s request to allow the production and sale of medical marijuana. Board members took no action after about four hours of testimony, including criticism of the proposal by representatives of two nearby employers, Campbell Soup Co. and Cooper University Hospital, according to Frank Fulbrook, a city activist who is working with Zaken. Fulbrook said the city board is expected to announce a decision March 5. Compassionate Care at one point had a tentative lease for a site in Bellmawr, but it broke off that agreement due to the state’s delay in implementing the medical marijuana law.

via : Courier Post Online

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