Plans for medical marijuana facility in Camden go up in smoke

    Camden’s gateway neighborhood will not become home to a medical marijuana dispensary. The city’s zoning board rejected a request to use two vacant buildings to grow and dispense the drug.

    Camden activist Frank Fulbrook is upset about the zoning board’s decision. He says the facility would have given patients access to a natural treatment option for issues including chronic pain and nausea — and it would have offered job opportunities.

    “It would have created 50 startup jobs with preference for residents of Camden, with a maximum potential of about 100 jobs at full operation,” said Fulbrook.

    Cooper University Hospital and the Campbell Soup Company, both blocks away from the proposed site, opposed the marijuana dispensary.

    Campbell spokesman Anthony Sanzio said the company has been working for five years to redevelop the neighborhood. The marijuana dispensary, he said, would have interfered with its vision.

    “When we look at the Gateway District and what we are trying to do here, to develop an office park and to attract other businesses to the city, we believe that a medical marijuana facility would be detrimental to those development efforts,” Sanzio said.

    The zoning board did not return calls for comment.

    Camden is the latest New Jersey community to reject a medical marijuana dispensary. Not a single one of the six proposed centers for the state has opened since the medical marijuana law passed two years ago. One near Atlantic City and one in the North Jersey town of Montclair seem to be on track.

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