Asbury Park, NJ board praises, then rejects marijuana dispensary

🟢 Asbury Park has rejected plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary

🟢 City Council prohibited all dispensaries in a resolution passed last year

🟢 Zoning board members expressed support for the company before rejecting it


A company hoping to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Asbury Park will have to go elsewhere after the city’s zoning board refused to cross a green line in the sand.

Breakwater Treatment and Wellness went before the zoning board at a March 28 meeting. The company headquartered in Cranbury deals in medical marijuana and does not sell for recreational use. It had hoped to expand and open a third store on Memorial Avenue in Asbury Park.

But board members unanimously rejected the proposal even as members expressed support for marijuana use and the company itself.

(Google Maps/Townsquare Media Illustration)

(Google Maps/Townsquare Media Illustration)

Board member Daniel Harris told the company’s representatives that he was not bothered by either medicinal or recreational marijuana use. However, he was bothered by the idea of overriding a resolution passed by city council in August 2022.

“We would set a dangerous precedent for the city council and for the citizens of Asbury Park,” Harris said. Jill Potter, who also serves on the zoning board, agreed.

Mayor John Moor and all members of city council gave their support to resolution 2022-360, which stated it was their intent “to specifically prohibit all forms of cannabis establishments, whether medical or adult use/recreational, from locating within” the city.

Asbury Park boardwalk

Asbury Park boardwalk (Chris Eannucci – Townsquare Media)

Zoning board member Russel Lewis said that he had a friend in recovery from cancer treatments who used Breakwater’s products. He spoke highly of their quality, but he also didn’t give the application the green light.

“I think you run a really good business. I think Asbury Park would benefit from having a business like Breakwater in town,” Russel Lewis said. “The line in the sand for me right now is this resolution that the city council has been very clear on.”

City council last year also approved a measure to ban smoking and vaping marijuana products on the boardwalk. A first offense is a $250 fine.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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