Delaware County was not a runner-up for one of the initial 12 medical marijuana grower permits issued by the PA Department of Health (DOH) weeks ago, but two local dispensary permits were granted last week and both are in Upper Darby Township.
St. Davids-based Chamounix Ventures, LLC, which will assume the alias “Keystone Dispensaries,” will also operate a dispensary in Chester and Montgomery Counties and be located at 622 Industrial Park Drive in the Yeadon Industrial Park actually located in Upper Darby Township.
One of Keystone Dispensaries’ six principals, Dr. M. Louis van de Beek, a medical doctor with a private practice in the Port Richmond and Kensington sections of Philadelphia, said Upper Darby Council, particularly Councilwoman Sekela Coles, was very receptive to the dispensary’s arrival.
“(The dispensary) is in Coles’ district and she gave us guidance,” van de Beek said. He added that he was told at the zoning board hearing that his would be the only dispensary in the municipality, but it’s not.
Roughly 14 miles southwest, Grassroots Cannabis, an extension of the Chicago-based AES Compassionate Care, fronted by Audrey Slein, a commercial law attorney in Chicago, is also set to open in Upper Darby on 130 South State Road.
Out of 280 applications submitted, only 27 dispensary permits were approved and they were the first of a finalized total of 52. The Southeast region managed to lock in the bulk of permits at 10, according to a press release on the state’s website. However, each of these proposed locations in the state, specified by county, in the release are only the designated primary locations.
Finding the specifics of each approved dispensary requires combing through the mostly publicly viewable 27 individual applications and each one averaged over 300 pages, a huge jump from the mere 28-page incomplete document.
The reasons for the college-textbook sized applications lies with each legal liability corporation required to provide a full, descriptively expansive business blueprint that outlines public accessibility and the company’s organizational positions, among other meticulous specifications. One key requirement is a model for each company’s plan to spur diversity, which officials insist, is much needed in the medical and recreational marijuana industry that is overwhelming white-owned.
However, the information provided by each company online is blanketed with black boxes that extend for tens of pages.
From his own recollection, van de Beek said the state, in vaguely-written instructions, required applicants to submit a redacted copy, which were reviewed unidentified.
“(The instructions) were ambiguous, on what the state wanted; so what do you do? Redact away, we didn’t want to be disqualified for improper redactions,” the doctor said.