For the second time in a month, Aston commissioners, last week, voted 6-1 to grant Penn’s Green’s, LLC conditional use to operate a growing and distribution medical marijuana (medpot) facility in an industrial park at 12 Mount Pleasant Drive.
Second Ward Commissioner Carol Graham was the lone “no” vote, citing concerns for her constituents.
“The industrial park is very old and there are some things we cannot change,” Graham said. “But, it’s our responsibility to make sure that everybody, all the properties, businesses and residents, are considered when any new business comes in. I am uncomfortable as to the proximity of this building to the residents on McLaughlin Drive, so I will be voting no.”
Commissioners President Jim Stigale explained that even though conditional use was granted, it is not guaranteed that either Penn’s Green’s or Medgraden, LLC, on Knowlton Road, the other facility granted last month, will ultimately be operational. Granting conditional use for a facility is the first step prior to a business applying for a license from the state. The deadline for state applications was Monday, March 20.
At this stage, no company is guaranteed anything.
A total of just 12 growing facilities will be allowed in Pennsylvania; two in each of the six regions. Delaware County is lin the Southeast region which also includes Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Lancaster, and Schuylkill counties.
In addition to the growing facilities, there will eventually be 50 dispensaries in 67 counties statewide that will be strictly enforced.
Co-sponsored by Delco lawmakers Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-162) of Ridley Park, and Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17), of Ardmore; and Lebanon Sen. Mike Folmer (R-48), Gov. Tom Wolf signed medical marijuana into law on April 16, 2016, which permits Pennsylvania residents to acquire marijuana in pill, oil extract, nebulizer, and topical form.
The law made Pennsylvania the 24th state in the United States to permit medpot.
McLaughlin Drive resident Jennifer Palmarini said her neighborhood was not against medpot, but had concerns about safety and pollutants.
“Many residents… here tonight and many others who could not attend, oppose the development of the marijuana growing and processing plant,” Palmarini said. “Based on concerns and unanswered questions that address pollution, security and code enforcement… We should be part of this process. Our community has been very frustrated with what has been going on in that industrial park, especially with noise and pollution.”
Attorney Patrick McKenna, representing the company, said the business will comply with every aspect of the township ordinance including having 24-hour video surveillance inside and outside, multiple motion detection, growth area locked at all times, security card access and all required lighting.
If approved by the state, both facilities will not be dispensing medpot. Under strict guidelines, the product will be grown and packaged for delivery to dispensaries throughout the state.
In other matters, a proclamation was presented to Aston Township Library Director Stephen Sarazin recognizing April 10-16 as National Library Week.
It was announced that township offices and the Public Works Department will be closed on Good Friday, April 14. All Friday’s trash and recycling will be picked up on Thursday, April 13.
Commissioners repealed an ordinance amendment that required installation of automatic fire protection sprinkler systems in rental units that were converted from owner-occupied single family dwellings.
The state’s Insurance Department has ruled that such regulation is not enforceable.