INDEPENDENCE TWP. — As Pennsylvania prepares to allow for the distribution of medical marijuana next year, township officials next month could set regulations for any dispensary that might want to set up shop.

Supervisors could vote on the proposed ordinance at their June 14 meeting. If officials approve the regulations, Independence Township would be among the first in the county to enact a policy on medical marijuana facilities. Nearby Moon Township adopted zoning regulations for the facilities in February.

Under the proposed regulations, a medical marijuana facility would be a conditional use, akin to shopping centers, adult businesses and cell phone towers. The township would allow a growing or processing facility, a dispensary, an academic clinical research center that works with medical marijuana or a storage facility for the vehicles used to deliver the drug.

If medical marijuana is grown in the township, the regulations would require it to be done so in an “indoor, enclosed and secure building which includes electronic locking system, electronic surveillance and other features.”

Growing and processing facilities would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of a public, private or parochial school or a daycare center.

Other states have permitted mobile marijuana dispensaries – but not in Independence. Dispensaries and growing facilities in the township could not be located in a trailer, cargo container, mobile unit, mobile home, recreational vehicle or other motor vehicle. Dispensaries could not have drive-through service, outdoor seating or outdoor vending machines. They would be barred from offering direct or home delivery service. Patients would not be allowed to consume or administer medical marijuana on the premises.

The proposal also bars any dispensary from being located within 1,000 feet of another medical marijuana facility, unless it is an academic clinical research center or a grower the dispensary is partnered with.


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