Maple Shade to consider plan for medical marijuana dispensary

A proposed medical marijuana treatment center is up for review in Maple Shade, N.J.

New Jersey’s Department of Health and Senior Services has approved applications for two alternative treatment centers, which will dispense medical marijuana, to serve the southern region of the state.

One of the centers will be in Westampton. The other, proposed by the nonprofit organization Compassionate Sciences, faces a zoning hearing in Maple Shade on Oct. 12.

“It has to go to zoning for an interpretation as to whether or not the use fits in with the area where it’s going,” said Gary LaVenia, township manager. “It’s in a business development district. “

Andrei Bogolubov of Compassionate Sciences said organization officials considered several factors before choosing the site on Route 73.

“We were looking for something that would work for the community, meaning that it would be very accessible driving in and out,” he said. And, he said, “most importantly, isolated from residential areas.”

Permitted uses at the Maple Shade location include medical offices and retail establishments. Bogolubov maintains the alternative treatment center could be considered either.

“It’s essentially a medical office where patients who are registered by the state to participate in the medicinal marijuana program can come in and receive medicinal marijuana to treat a host of diseases and conditions that the state has recognized can be treated with medical cannabis, such as cancer, MS, epilepsy,” he said.

If the zoning hearing board doesn’t agree, he said, they will seek a variance.

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