No vote on marijuana dispensary

Hearings on two proposed zoning amendments that would allow for medical marijuana facilities in Concord Township didn’t go very far Tuesday night. The major action taken by township council — aside from answering some questions from the public — was to authorize that the hearings be re-advertised.

The amendments, if approved, would make room for a medical marijuana dispensary and for a medical marijuana grow site in Concord. Township solicitor Hugh Donaghue said he wrote the ordinances based on state law and that he made them as strict as he thought he could.

But, he said, re-advertisement is needed because he made wording changes to both amendments after they were originally advertised, but prior to the March 12 hearing date. The changes dealt with how security cameras are to be used, how long a facility would have to maintain recordings from those cameras, and how the recordings may be accessed by township officials and law enforcement. One of the ordinances also had to be re-advertised because it included the wrong zoning district in the draft.

The reason for hearings is to bring Concord into compliance with a state law that says municipalities must have accommodations in their zoning codes to allow for all legal businesses. Pennsylvania legalized medicinal marijuana in April 2016. In December of 2018, the state authorized a dispensary and a grow site for Concord Township.

Council Member Josh Twersky referred to the ordinances as the township being proactive because, without zoning changes he said, the township could have no say in where such facilities could be located.

Some of the restrictions include keeping dispensaries and grow sites 1,000 feet from any school or daycare center, and that dispensaries be in a C-2 Local Commercial Zoning District, and have frontage on either Route 1, Route 202 or Route 322. Additionally, a grow site would be limited to the Light Industrial Zoning District.

Township Manager Amanda Serock said the updated draft ordinances will be uploaded to the township website. The tentative new hearing date would be in May. Concord will notify the public when the new date is officially set.

For information on the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program, go here.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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