Two Monmouth County communities have moved forward on plans this summer to support a dispensary within their borders if licensed by New Jersey's medical marijuana program.

The Freehold Borough Council voted unanimously on Aug. 19 to support a facility proposed by Garden State Botanicals at a site on Throckmorton Street. The plan still needs approval from the state Department of Health.

Further along in the process, Garden State Dispensary, headquartered in Woodbridge, received state approval in July to open a second satellite medical marijuana dispensary in Eatontown, according to the Asbury Park Press. The dispensary has a satellite spot in Union. The Monmouth County location would require a state permit before opening.

There's also interest in Hunterdon County, where the Flemington Borough Council voted 3-1 in June to support the idea of a medical marijuana dispensary in the community. As reported by MyCentralJersey, there are limited locations along Routes 31 or 202 where a dispensary can open. State regulations do not allow dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools or parks.

Since the state's medical marijuana program began, six dispensaries have operated. One has opened a second location.

Breakwater Treatment & Wellness in Cranbury (Middlesex County)

Compassionate Care Foundation in Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County)

Curaleaf (CSATC) in Bellmawr (Camden County)

Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge (Middlesex County), satellite spot in Union (Union County)

Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair (Essex County)

Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus (Hudson County)

In December 2018, the state announced six more medical marijuana dispensaries that received initial approval of applications to operate an alternative treatment center.

Permission to operate is granted to successful applicants only after a series of reviews and inspections of their facilities, procedures and products.

Columbia Care New Jersey in Vineland (Cumberland County)
Status: All city approvals are in-place for the company to start operating from two sites before the end of 2019, as reported by Vineland Daily Journal in July. A building along North Delsea Drive, once a plumbing business, is planned as a dispensary.

NETA NJ in Phillipsburg (Warren County)
Status: The site is expected to open by the end of 2019, according to parent company, TerrAscend. TerrAscend has acquired California operations of retail dispensary brand known as The Apothecarium. New Jersey's location will be the first of the brand on the East Coast.

GTI (Green Thumb Industries) New Jersey in Paterson (Passaic County)
Status: Plans are moving forward for a cultivation facility at the former Continental Can Company site on Getty Avenue and a dispensary on Third Avenue, according to a March report by Paterson Times. The growing site was slated for operation this fall.

Verano NJ in Elizabeth (Union County)
Status: In March, Harvest Health made a deal to acquire Verano. It's unclear if the sale will impact the planned Union County site.

MPX New Jersey in Atlantic City (Atlantic County)
Status: Asbury Park Press reported in July that the dispensary is on track to open by the end of 2019. The state's initial approval also involved a growing facility in Galloway Township, which Press of Atlantic City reported in April had been signed off on by the township.

Justice Grown in Ewing (Mercer County)
Status: Justice Grown VP of Business Development Jamil Taylor was among speakers at a February event in Monroe, billed as "Meet NJ's new Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) Operators." As of Tuesday, there's no sign on the company's website about when its planned dispensary might open in Ewing.

For nearly a month starting July 24, the state Department of Health was seeking applicants to operate up to 24 additional Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), of which up to 19 will involve new dispensary locations, based on the state's explanation.

That application period ended on Aug. 22.

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