Aston considers going to pot – The Delaware County Daily Times
ASTON >> The township is considering going to pot.
Commissioners will hold a special meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal building on Pennell Road to consider the adoption of a medical marijuana ordinance.
Commissioners Vice President Mike Higgins said the board was contacted recently by a party who is interested in securing a location in the township for the growth and processing of marijuana intended for distribution to wholesalers.
Higgins said it is necessary for the township to write and adopt an ordinance because there is no such regulation in existence.
“We want to make it perfectly clear that this is not the kind of marijuana that is smoked or to get someone high,” Higgins said. “It would be strictly protected and only used for medical, therapeutic purposes such as in oil, nebulizer, and topical cream form.”
Higgins said he was not at liberty to disclose the name of the individual who submitted the application just yet because state permits have yet to be approved, as this is still in the very early stages.
There will eventually be 50 dispensaries in 67 counties Pennsylvania that will be strictly enforced. And approximately 20,000 people will be medically eligible to use the services.
Co-sponsored by State Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, of Ridley Park; Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of King of Prussia; and Sen. Mike Folmer, R-48, of Lebanon; Gov. Tom Wolf signed the medical marijuana bill into legislation on April 16, 2016, which permits Pennsylvania residents to acquire marijuana in pill, oil extract, nebulizer, and topical form.
The bill made Pennsylvania the 24th state in the United States to permit the use of medical marijuana.
Wolf stressed that in addition to helping ill individuals, a primary objective of the legalization of medical marijuana is to attempt to decrease opioid abuse that, over the past 10 years, has skyrocketed in the state.
“We lost about 2000 people last year alone to opioid overdose,” Wolf said. “In the states that have legalized medical marijuana, the deaths from overdose of opioids has declined about 25 percent … That’s 500 lives we can save each year.”
Medical marijuana is a therapeutic effort to deal with a patient who is most in need. Even though it is not a cure, it has been shown to be useful in helping children with autism and severe seizures, young adults with hepatitis, and elderly people living with debilitating illnesses such as life defining cancers. The above illnesses are among the 70 designated uses for medical marijuana.
Higgins said if approved, the facility will need to be in the Limited Industrial (LI) Zoning district. He added that regulations will state that no such facility may be in a residential area, near schools, day care centers, or shopping centers.
Aston is certainly not the first Delaware County Community to be contacted by someone interested in medical marijuana.
Last year around this time, Trainer Borough Council was approached by a retired dentist who owns and serves as the director of an AIDS Care Group in Sharon Hill. He was interested in opening a medical marijuana distribution center in the borough.
The residents opinions were mixed on the proposal, with some, including the chief of police, positive about the benefits of having such a distribution center to help others in need.
Trainer Police Chief Frances Priscopo said he did extensive research and felt that the facility would be a “good opportunity.”
“It’s about time we recognize the benefits of this,” Priscopo said. “It is better for ill people to have something that gives them relief rather than take expensive drugs that don’t work.”
Trainer Council did not vote on the proposal and according to Councilman Joseph Maher, the applicant did not return.
Higgins said the Aston commissioners are very interested in what township residents have to say.
“We would like our residents to come and express opinions about this issue,” Higgins said. “This is an important decision and we really want to know what our residents think.”
In addition, at this meeting, commissioners will discuss a zoning request by J. Grace Co. to rezone 10.4 acres of property located at 104-106 Pennell Road from townhouse to apartment district.