Brick Township neighbors say ‘no way’ to medical marijuana site

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A group of Brick Township residents are battling to stop a medical marijuana dispensary from opening in the town.

There are plans to transform the now-closed First Ocean Bank on Adamston Road into a dispensary. But residents who live across from the proposed site say that they do not want it to be built.

"Nobody wants it. I've spoken with probably 500 residents within a half-mile from here. I’ve given out flyers. I can't find anyone who wants it,” says neighbor Alex Marcupol.

Attendees at a public meeting last month in front of the Brick Board of Adjustment got into shouting matches over the issue, disrupting the meeting.

RELATED: NJ gets 146 applications for 6 new medical marijuana centers

Gov. Phil Murphy expanded New Jersey’s medical marijuana program earlier this year. The New Jersey Department of Health received 146 applications for new medical marijuana dispensaries. It's likely two licenses will be granted in the Central Jersey region.

“We’ve taken great pains to create a security plan we feel is going to set the bar for security, not only for dispensaries in New Jersey, but also nationally,” says Joel Allcock with the Jersey Shore Therapeutic Health Center.

Part of the plan for the Brick Township dispensary calls for a 48,000-square-foot growing house in the rear of the property.

But neighbors say that they worry about what impact clearing trees to build the dispensary will have on the nearby wildlife refuge.

“Nobody wants to deny anybody their medicine or what makes them feel better. But it's just more of the location, it’s not a suitable location,” Marcupol says.

Allcock says that many of the concerns are for nothing.

“I think a year or two years from now, if we are fortunate enough to be granted this variance and selected by the state, once we’re in operation a lot of these fears will subside when they see life goes on as usual,” he says.

Currently the two closest dispensaries to the proposed Brick location are in Egg Harbor Township and Woodbridge, about an hour's drive in either direction.

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