There are 6 medical marijuana dispensaries in N.J. This town wants to open the 7th. –

Freehold Borough officials have given local approval to what could eventually be one of three medical marijuana dispensaries in a county that doesn’t have one.

The Borough Council voted 6-0 Monday night approving a resolution that would allow Cherry Hill-based Garden State Botanicals to open a dispensary in a warehouse on Throckmorton Street, Borough Clerk Traci DiBenedetto said.

An endorsement of the dispensary by the borough’s ruling body is required under the multi-tiered approval process for dispensaries, which also requires approval by the state Department of Health, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program.

“Freehold supports the expansion of New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program in order to meet the needs of qualified patients who use medical marijuana to alleviate suffering from certain medical conditions,” the resolution states.

DiBenedetto said the council will change the zoning surrounding the Throckmorton Street site to allow for a dispensary.

The health department is now weighing the Freehold application, and the council vote on Monday came two days before an Aug. 21 state deadline for local endorsement of the Garden State Botanicals application, DiBenedetto said.

There are six medical marijuana dispensaries operating in New Jersey, helping some 52,000 patients deal with loss of appetite from cancer treatment, pain, and other ailments, after the state’s medical marijuana law was signed by outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine in January 2010.

But there are no dispensaries in Monmouth or neighboring Ocean counties, where many residents and elected officials in the conservative region have been resistant to legalizing cannabis even for medical use.

That said, Garden State Botanicals’ Freehold application is now one of three proposals for Monmouth dispensaries all at various stages in the multi-tiered approval process.

The other two would include an Eatontown satellite location of the existing Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, in Middlesex County, while the

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