New Castle’s zoning board of appeals unanimously approved a request to add seven more parking spaces to a new medical marijuana dispensary on Sampson Street set to become operational in August.
“We’re pleased to be able to enter Pennsylvania and try to lead the nation in cannabis-related research,” said Raj Mukherji, co-owner of CannTech PA, LLC and chief executive officer of the national CannTech companies.
CannTech was awarded one of four available clinical registrants — facilities that grow, process and dispense marijuana for research institutions — in late February for the property at 809 Sampson St.
CannTech contracted with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Erie.
“This is a very innovative clinical research program, “ Mukherji said. “This is the first of its kind in the nation.”
Because marijuana remains illegal federally, medical marijuana research proves difficult to do.
The state will allow eight clinical registrants to open statewide and seven have already been awarded.
According to the city’s zoning ordinances, 12.4 parking spaces are required per the building’s square footage. Since there are only seven at the building’s location, the appeal for approval of use to lease seven parking spaces at the adjacent 811 Sampson St. was submitted.
Since the appeal was approved, the facility will have 14 spaces for both employees and patrons.
Mukherji expects between 15 and 25 total employees and between four and six working at one time.
The expected hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.
The facility must be inspected by the state before it will be allowed to open.
Since registrants must be operational within six months of the permit issue date, per the state’s medical marijuana statutes, attorney Jim Diamond of Eckert Seamans of Harrisburg who represented CannTech during the appeal