The lawsuit alleges that two marijuana businesses made “false representations” regarding the need to perform maintenance on a purchased property with an allegedly faulty septic system.
A lawsuit has been filed against New Jersey’s Hunterdon County, alleging that the local health department’s approval of a marijuana cultivation facility was invalid because a report made “false representations.”
According to MyCentralJersey.com, the lawsuit was filed by WoodMeier Farms and names Green Medicine N.J. and GMNJ Properties as defendants.
Together, the two defendant companies had planned to convert a vacant church into a marijuana cultivation plant.
Green Medicine, adds MyCentralJersey.com, purchased the 30,000-square-foot facility and the adjoining 22 acres for about $2.45 million.
In its proposal, Green Medicine said that it would not change the interior, exterior, or height characteristics of the vacant church building.
However, the lawsuit alleges that the company promised it would not make any alterations to its existing septic system, which had been considered adequate by an independent health investigator.
The investigating engineer, says MyCentralJersey.com, certified that the septic system was not malfunctioning and would not increase daily sewage waste.
Now, the lawsuit claims that the inspection had actually “detailed several problems with the septic system,” and that “additional investigation is needed.”
The filing seeks to reverse the county’s approval, and force local health regulators to re-evaluate Green Medicine’s application.
Green Medicine released a statement in response to the lawsuit, pledging to continue cooperating with Hunterdon County officials.
“Green Medicine has always been mindful of the communities it works with and within. While we understand some of the concerns that any new business may bring to a community, we have invested significant resources, more than is typical at this stage of the approval process, to alleviate these concerns,” said Green Medicine C.E.O. Cheryl Sullivan. “Green Medicine has and will continue to demonstrate our commitment to the community by working with our township and neighbors.”
Sullivan emphasized that the marijuana cultivation facility is likely to bring significant economic benefits to the region.
“Our plan will benefit all West Amwell taxpayers,” Sullivan added. “Besides providing local jobs through responsible agriculture, the township will receive a 2% tax on all sales, as well as a property tax of 2.25% of assessed value. Moreover, we are converting a dilapidated eyesore into an attractive building, surrounded by landscaping that meshes with the rural character of West Amwell.”
The agreement between Green Medicine and Hunterdon County intends to “assist the township in addressing the potential health, safety, and other effects or impacts the facility may have on the township and on municipal programs.”
Green Medicine will also be allowed to make additional discretionary payments to the township, including funding for drug abuse and prevention programs.