One of six medical marijuana clinics in the state will be situated in Woodbridge, and it could be just four months away from opening.
Compassionate Care Centers of New Jersey, which has been trolling about for a town in central New Jersey to host a medical marijuana dispensary, bought the defunct 6th Avenue Electronics store on Route 1, according to a report on nj.com, with plans to turn it into a warehouse to grow and sell the plant.
The pot purveyors purchased the electronics store building last week for $2.75 million, nj.com reported, saying the buy had been in the works for over a year, even though .
Medical marijuana centers have had a hard time trying to find municipalities willing to allow the dispensaries in their town limits.
When news that a pot-growing dispensary would be coming to Upper Freehold last December, a fierce outcry from citizens and an ordinance unanimously passed by the town committee stopped the warehouse in its tracks.
'It'll be great.'
Not so in Woodbridge.
Mayor John McCormac, who said he knew about the marijuana dispensary's plans for over a year, told nj.com that he "welcomed" the marijuana warehouse.
"As long as it’s legal, Woodbridge residents might as well get the benefit of it. If our residents need the products, it will be close by. It will be great.
"Unlike many towns, we’re welcoming them to Woodbridge," McCormac said in the nj.com report.
McCormac apparently didn't share the news of the pot warehouse with some of Woodbridge's elected officials.
Councilman Bob Luban was taken aback when the news got out that a pot warehouse was coming to town.
"I'd like someone to explain the benefits to Woodbridge. I'm as surprised as everyone that the administration appears to be encouraging them to come here. I was under the impression many towns are against it," Luban said.
"Unless there is some magic revenue benefit, i don't see where there is a benefit to Woodbridge at all."
Marijuana Grows Jobs
Compassionate Care's spokeman told nj.com that they expected 50 jobs to materialize at the pot warehouse. Some of the employment will go to off-duty Woodbridge policemen, who will be hired to guard the marijuana stash being grown in the building.
Earlier this year, rumors were swirling that a marijuana dispensary might be coming to town. While officials inside the township denied it, Raj Mukherji, who said he had been a lobbyist for Compassionate Care before he became a deputy mayor of Jersey City, said in March that they had indeed been considering Woodbridge as a medicial marijuana site.
"Woodbridge would be a good location. It's a ratable for the town. I know [Compassionate Care was] looking at New Brunswick originally," Mukherji said.
The mayor's office did not return phone calls for this story.
The former 6th Avenue Electronics store is located on a busy stretch of Route 1 North, between the McGuire Cadillac dealership and the , and a little over a mile to .
On August 9, the New Jersey Department of Health opened up a registry that potential pot customers had to join for permission to buy marijuana. So far, less than 100 patients have signed up statewide.
As far as Woodbridge is concerned, Luban said he would've liked to have gotten a head's up on the deal.
"I would've liked to have known this was in the works. We should've been given the opportunity to discuss it with the redevelopment agency, and we should've been asked our opinion," he aid.
"We do represent the people directly."