This ain’t Berkeley: Republican praises Central Jersey marijuana facility

It’s not every day that an elected official gets up and praises the opening of a medical marijuana facility around here.

And that certainly doesn’t happen every day from a Republican.

But a news release came across our desk today from state Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon — a Republican representing northern Monmouth County — that does just that.

O’Scanlon is an interesting cat.

He’s a fiscal conservative, and the ranking Republican on the Assembly budget committee. O’Scanlon [above with Monmouth GOP Senator Jennifer Beck] is also pro-life on abortion, yet he’s one of the few Republicans in Trenton who favor same-sex marriage.

Most interestingly, in the early days of the triCityNews newspaper — which publishes this site, along with the asburyparksun.com and asburyanchor.com — O’Scanlon was actually our food critic! It was fun stuff. O’Scanlon didn’t know enough to know what he was talking about, yet he knew just enough to be dangerous.

I have a 15 year association with this guy, and I’ve written before in my triCity column that I’m extremely proud of his work as an Assemblyman. Declan is the most straight-talking and direct politician I know, with a wonderful sense of humor to boot.

But when it comes to medical marijuana for O’Scanlon it’s no joke. The press release he issued today was entitled: “O’Scanlon Praises Medical Marijuana Facility Opening Announcement, Recent developments in NJs Medical marijuana industry show real progress.”

Here’s the text of the release in full:

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said the Department of Health’s announcement today that the Woodbridge medical marijuana facility would be the first in central New Jersey to begin production is, “a meaningful step in the right direction for patients suffering from chronic and extreme pain.”

Compassionate Care Center of America Foundation Inc. is located at 950 U.S. Highway 1 North in Woodbridge (formerly 6th Avenue Electronics) and is already listed on the State of NJ Department of Health’s website as an Alternative Treatment Center. Today’s announcement will allow the center to begin production of marijuana for patients in the program.

“This drug is so important to many people suffering from chronic pain,” said O’Scanlon. “Now folks in Central Jersey will have easy access to the medicine they so desperately need. I am proud of the Christie Administration and the Department for doing the right thing here. This has been a long process but they always kept in mind the needs of the sick and suffering.”

Also, the Compassionate Care Foundation Alternative Treatment Center in Egg Harbor Township has been growing marijuana since June and is anticipating a September opening. Department of Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said that the Little Egg facility will offer a high cannabidiol strain or CBD content and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Parents with children suffering from seizure disorders say that strains with high CBD content and low THC can ease their children’s symptoms without the unwanted side effects.

“This is another huge step forward,” O’Scanlon explained. “I had the opportunity to meet with the of a little girls suffering from a potentially life threatening form of epilepsy. One of the only proven treatments for her disease was cannabidiol. The news that the Egg Harbor center will produce the strain children like her need will really be a relief to many parents across the state.”

Dan Jacobson is the publisher of the triCityNews newspaper, as well as asburyoverheard.com, asburyparksun.com and asburyanchor.com. 

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