Med­i­cal mar­i­juana pro­cess­ing plant con­sid­ered for Centreville

Record Observer - - Front Page - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

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.”

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

A mar­i­juana pro­cess­ing plant has been con­sid­ered for this site at 152 Comet Drive, Centreville.

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