In today’s notes I mentioned the township board again discussed zoning for marijuana dispensaries. I have a few points to add.
The first is to echo Commissioner Cooper’s point that if the township plans to regulate marijuana dispensaries, it should regulate it in a similar manner to tobacco and alcohol. Those substances are both more addictive and more harmful than marijuana. To regulate marijuana in a stricter fashion than these more dangerous substances is capricious and arbitrary governance.
The second is that, from Garden City’s point of view, the greatest hazard here is the former Comcast building across from NPE. The commissioners have spent much of their time discussing the site around the post office in the middle of Wallingford and the professional office sites along Baltimore Pike, but the former Comcast building is more problematic than either. This site is zoned commercial and if the township allows alcohol, tobacco and marijuana to be sold on commercial properties, we could in theory have a vape shop, liquor store or marijuana dispensary facing NPE. Currently this site is slated for development as a child care center, but the purpose of zoning is to set boundaries for the future. Whatever the commissioners do, I hope they find a way to protect the immediate NPE area from this kind of future development.
The last point is that advertising matters. The new marijuana dispensary in Media has a big sign out front, the vape shop at the corner of Edgemont and Brookhaven has big signs advertising as well. The Pantry One in Wallingford, while also selling tobacco and vaping products, has more modest advertising as these products are not its sole business. Perhaps the township can limit public facing advertising of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana in areas that children frequently pass through or limit businesses who’s sole business is the selling of addictive substances.
If you have other ideas about these possible zoning changes, reach out to your commissioner and let them know. I get the impression public feedback might help them make a decision on where to go with this.