Pennsylvania is getting ready to launch its new medical marijuana program next year, but state regulations could keep dispensaries from opening in Philadelphia.
The state said Philadelphia should be able to open three medical marijuana dispensaries.
But regulations requiring these facilities to be at least 1,000 feet from schools and daycare centers leave little room for the industry to set up shop here, said City Councilman Derek Green.
“When we introduced a resolution to have hearings on the impact of this legislation in Philadelphia, talking with the planning commission and they did a map, there’d be virtually no location for dispensaries here in the city,” he said.
Green has sent a letter on behalf of all 17 members of City Council to the state’s Department of Health asking Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy to waive the setback.
If the state agrees, the city would enforce its own law requiring dispensaries to be 500 feet away from schools, libraries, parks and other places children might go.
“It allows us to have a dispensary in each council district, to create an economic opportunity for the medical marijuana industry in the city of Philadelphia,” Green said.
The councilman said he is reaching out to Philadelphia’s state lawmakers in hopes they’ll help lobby for the waiver.