Garden State Dispensary will open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Monmouth or Ocean counties on Thursday, the state’s Department of Health said.
The department has issued Garden State Dispensary a permit on Monday to open a satellite dispensary at 59 Route 35, near the entrance to the former Fort Monmouth property. The dispensary received state approval to open last year and then had to fulfill the regulatory requirements for the permit.
“Expanding access to our growing patient population continues to be a high priority, especially during these unprecedented times. The opening of this site will provide residents in the Monmouth County area better access to products they need to treat their conditions,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said in a prepared statement.
The Eatontown facility is the 12th dispensary in the state. Garden State Dispensary has two more locations in Woodbridge and Union Township.
Monmouth and Ocean counties have over 14,000 patients combined in the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program, which now has more than 86,000 patients, 3,300 caregivers and 1,200 physicians enrolled, according to state data.
While a handful of Shore towns have approved zoning for medicinal marijuana dispensaries, with Lacey the latest to join that list, about 20 have passed bans on recreational marijuana use.
The state will hold a historic vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana in November.
A Monmouth University poll in April reported that 61% of New Jerseyans planned to vote in favor of the constitutional amendment, which would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes and establish a system of dispensaries while levying both the state sales tax on purchases and an additional 2% tax by municipalities.
The other dispensaries include Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair, The Botanist (Compassionate Care Foundation) of Egg Harbor and Atlantic City, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury, Curaleaf NJ Inc. in Bellmawr, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus, Rise in Paterson, Zen Leaf Elizabeth and Columbia Care in Vineland.