Medical marijuana processing plant considered for Centreville
GRASONVILLE — Two companies are interested in starting medical marijuana operations at specific properties in Queen Anne’s County.
One is proposed as a medical marijuana dispensary at an empty building at 101 Drummer Drive, Grasonville, right off of U.S. Route 50/301. The other company is considering locating a medical marijuana processing plant in a warehouse at 152 Comet Drive in the Centreville Business Park within town limits.
The specific locations came up during a Queen Anne’s County Council of Governments meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 11. E. Michael Wisnosky, county planning and zoning director, handed out maps of the locations and discussed it. Since then, other officials have confirmed the locations.
The name of the company interested in the Grasonville site is unknown. Wisnosky said he met with the company’s lawyer, who declined to say the company’s name.
Already the Grasonville site has become controversial. County Commissioner Jim Moran said zoning amendments will be introduced at the next commissioners’ meeting concerning growing, processing and dispensing of marijuana.
A dispensing facility could go in a couple places in the county, but Moran wants county regulations changed so such facilities couldn’t be located near schools, churches and homes.
In the case of the Grasonville dispensary site, it may be too close to homes. “I don’t think that’s going to work,” Moran said.
Wisnosky said the county’s planning and zoning staff is creating a memo about “crafting language in our land development ordinance that establishes standards to regulate the growing, processing and dispensing.”
To date, there have been no plans submitted to the county for the operation. Moran said the company “expressed an interest.”
However, the marijuana processing plant proposed in a warehouse on Comet Drive in Centreville is located in a zoning that allows for such an operation. It’s a permitted use as a pharmaceutical operation in the property’s zone called the planned business development district, said John Fury, zoning administration for Centreville.
The company would only need a building permit and a zoning use and occupancy permit to locate there, he said. Something more elaborate might require a site plan, but Fury said no such proposal has been made.
Chesapeake Alternatives, which opened just last year, is the company interested in the Centreville site and prefers to answer questions by email. Mike Cardozo, company spokesman, declined to name the site the company is interested in, but said the company hopes to open the processing facility later this year.
“Chesapeake Alternatives was fortunate enough to have been awarded a stage 1 pre-approval to apply for a processing license in Queen Anne’s County from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission,” said Cardozo in the email.
“Although we are committed to locating in Queen Anne’s County and being responsible and collaborative members of the community, since we are still in the process of finalizing our facility plans, we are unable to discuss our precise location at this time. Once we have secured space, we look forward to meeting with and engaging the community to let them know more about our business and plans.”
A medical cannabis processing facility, which the company is planning, creates medical cannabis finished products by using one of a variety of methods to extract medically beneficial compounds called cannabinoids from raw plant material, the email said.
“These extractions are used to create a variety of medicinal products for use by registered, qualified patients including pills, tinctures, topical creams, and vapor cartridges. We will not be selling any of these products as a retail operation in Queen Anne’s County.”
A marijuana processing plant has been considered for this site at 152 Comet Drive, Centreville.