Is the region going to pot or planting the seeds of high hopes for a boon to Pennsylvania?

Businesses with names like Holistic Farms, Keystone Medical Cannabis, Bunker Botanicals and Medgarden have shown up at local town meetings seeking township support for medical marijuana growing facilities.

The businesses are coming forward in a short time frame to meet the state deadlines for securing one of the 12 initial permits for grow operations.

The medical marijuana licensing process was set in motion last spring when Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize the dispensing of marijuana for treatment of chronic pain. The chemicals in cannabis also treat conditions such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. Marijuana also is used for in treating seizures in children and providing relief from conditions that fail to respond to medicines.


Growing operations have been proposed for land in Bridgeport, the former Stanley G. Flagg factory in West Pottsgrove, and Limerick in Montgomery County as well as Aston, Delaware County. The most intriguing site is an underground bunker in Lower Pottsgrove.

Townships and boroughs have been supportive of the proposals, which come with stringent requirements and high cost to the developers.

And for patients and parents of sick children anxious for the drug to be available, the proliferation of proposals is a good sign that relief is on its way.

But we suspect not everyone is happy.

The stigma of marijuana has some local residents seeing themselves as neighbors to pot farms and shaking their heads in disbelief. The fact that it took Pennsylvania years to legalize a proven medical benefit for its residents shows the reluctance of many.

And those concerns are part of the controlled rollout and vetting of potential operators in this new pharma industry.

The permit process divides Pennsylvania

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