As medical marijuana in Maryland approaches its much-awaited rollout, Maryland counties are preparing for new businesses. With this come new zoning regulations and business licenses. This week, Charles County is taking the medical marijuana topic to its zoning meeting. On Monday, the Charles County Planning Commission met to draft new regulations for businesses that will go into effect by the time the state’s nearly 1,000 applications are reviewed, and the list of approvals are made. The new regulations will come in the form of a zoning amendment, which the Planning Commission has authority over creating.
The goals that Charles County wants to accomplish with new medical marijuana zoning regulations
According to members of the Charles County Planning Commission, they’re prepared to present enough information to the county to allow a quick, and smooth application of the new amendment.
“The purpose of the zoning text amendment is to allow for the processing and dispensing of medical cannabis in select zoning districts, permitted with conditions,” Aimee Dailey of the Charles County Planning Division stated in the report to be presented Dec. 7.
Why Charles County needs a special zoning amendment before the medical marijuana rollout
According to sources from Charles County’s BayNet.com: While the MCC serves as the primary licensing and registration authority, it is left to local jurisdictions to determine within which zoning districts the associated uses (growing, processing and dispensing) may be located. Fees associated with local land use approvals may be collected by the local jurisdiction.
This means that while medical marijuana will be legal in the state, each county has to decide how to provide space and facilitate businesses that want to process and distribute it. The Charles County Planning Commission wants to bring medical marijuana business into their county, but also wants to set reasonable restrictions that work for the municipality.
Making Maryland an “open for business” state when it comes to medical marijuana
Legalized medical marijuana is a huge step for Maryland, and many states in the US who are trying to increase tax revenue and allow greater access to patients. However, without the cooperation of the county zoning boards, implementing these businesses in a reasonable fashion becomes more difficult. According to local sources, Charles County’s new zoning amendment should be approved, and expedited to meet the rollout date, and demand. And soon, you should see Maryland’s other counties follow suit.