Atlantic City Business Applies For Medical Marijuana Permit

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A Calvi Electric executive has applied for a use-variance to open a medical marijuana dispensary at the company’s site on Iowa and California Avenues, should they win approval from the state to operate a treatment center.

Calvi Electric President Mike Brestle and Ellie Siegel, chief executive of consulting firm Longview Strategic, filed the application with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority this week. The plan would put a medical marijuana dispensary on Iowa Ave between Atlantic and Pacific Aves, across from Tony’s Baltimore Grill and the Tropicana casino. An indoor marijuana farm would operate from the buildings behind the dispensary.

The applicants would also need sign-off from the state in order to operate a treatment center. New Jersey is preparing to double its medical marijuana dispensaries. The state has six new permits up for grabs to run what it calls alternative treatment centers. It is not clear whether the Calvi proposal, or a separate plan approved by Pleasantville this week, would be successful in applying for the state permits.

Brestle and Siegel have teamed up with an existing medical cannabis company called Cresco Labs and they believe they would be able to start the business quickly if they were to get a permit, according to their application to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Cresco Labs runs indoor marijuana cultivation farms in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

The application to CRDA is for a site-use variance, but as the business owners say in their filing, the use they propose was not one that was contemplated when the Authority drew up its master plan for the area. The application argues “the site is well suited for the use in spite of the fact that the use isn’t permitted” because there are doctors offices, clinics and oncology facilities in the area. A medical marijuana farm and dispensary is an “inherently beneficial” use of the site, according to the application.

The applicants also say they would hire as many as 30 Atlantic City residents and provide training and internships. “We intend to structure and conduct our operations so that they benefit the local  community and become a true centerpiece of the resurgence of Atlantic City,” write the applicants.

The applicants did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

New Jersey now has more than 25,000 patients enrolled in its medical marijuana program. Five dispensaries currently provide marijuana to those patients, with one in Egg Harbor Township.

A public hearing on the proposal will take place on Thursday Aug. 16, at 10 am at CRDA’s office (details here).

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