The Anne Arundel County Council has unanimously approved a bill setting standards for the growing, processing, and dispensing of medical cannabis within the county. The legislation passed after months of debates, hearing and amendments. The original bill called for an outright ban, but what passed was a compromise that limits where facilities may be located.
As reported in The Capital Gazette:
The legislation allows state-licensed dispensaries in commercial and industrial areas by special exception and permits by conditional use growing and processing operations in rural residential districts and some commercial and industrial areas.
No two dispensaries in the county can be located within a mile of each other and they cannot display marijuana in the store or hire a physician to write prescriptions on site.
Growing operations must be located on a minimum of 10 acres and employ at least one armed security officer per every 50,000 square feet of use at all times. Processing operations are considered an accessory use to growers, and can only process marijuana grown on site.
At least 56 groups have applied to open medical marijuana shops in the county and another 22 have expressed interest in a district shared by Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, according to statistics from Maryland’s medical marijuana commission, although only two dispensary licenses will be allowed per area. The applications are under review.
The new regulations go into effect in February.