New Jersey State gives medical marijuana dispensary $357,000 loan

By Susan K. Livio/The Star-Ledger 

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In this 2012 file photo, Compassionate Care Foundation CEO William Thomas, Grow Manager Darren Henney and General Manager Tom Pendergast inside their large warehouse which is poised to become the second medical marijuana dispensary to open in New Jersey. The NJ Economic Development Authority granted a request from the dispensary founders for a $357,000 loan today. (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)
In an unexpected move that signals the Christie administration’s support for New Jersey’s fledgling medical marijuana program despite its misgivings about the law, the state Economic Developmental Authority today approved a $357,000 loan to the founders of a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township that plans to open in mid-October.

Compassionate Care Foundation Inc. said it would use the money to buy equipment and expand its cultivation space, add 12 good-paying jobs to the seven it has already created, and eventually produce enough medicine for about 1,500 patients a month, said CEO Bill Thomas, formerly a medical researcher. Within 10 years, the dispensary expects to generate about $2.8 million in state sales tax, he added.

The 15-0 vote by the EDA — an independent authority connected to the Department of Treasury — “legitimizes this business in the eyes of the public,” Thomas said.

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