Medical marijuana dispensaries won’t be opening up in Chadds Ford Township anytime soon, but they eventually will, and one is already considering coming to town. So, the township Planning Commission is now preparing ordinances to control where they may open and how they must operate.
Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, and the state requires municipalities to accommodate all legal businesses within their zoning codes. If the state legislature approves recreational cannabis, that, too, must be accommodated.
In October 2020, the Planning Commission learned that the dispensary company PharmaCann was interested in opening a shop in Springwater Plaza. Since then, commission members Timotha Trigg and Kathleen Goodier have been researching ordinances from other townships. During the Feb. 10 Planning Commission meeting, Trigg said they leaned heavily on Concord Township’s ordinance to come up with ideas for Chadds Ford.
Trigg said Concord’s ordinances “seemed the most worthy of consideration. So, we used that as a base and inserted some other provisions that made sense from other [municipalities]…We tried to compile what seem to be provisions that townships like [ours] have put in their ordinances, as a first step.” She stressed, “We’re just getting started.”
Trigg said there are two facets to possible ordinances, the dispensaries themselves and growing facilities. The first aspect is the dispensary itself, and then there is the issue of where the cannabis is grown and processed.
During a discussion on possible zoning changes, prompted by a question from commission member Jay Patel, Trigg said having dispensaries along Route 202 makes the most sense.
“It’s a commercial zone but in a different kind of way than other areas of the township,” she said.
That comment follows those made in October when commission members discussed the possibility of PharmaCann coming into Springwater