Aldermen Approve Ordinance Allowing Medical Cannabis Dispensaries In Frederick

They would be restricted to certain areas of the city.


Frederick, Md (KM). Medical cannabis dispensaries will be allowed in Frederick under changes made to the Land Management Code unanimously approved Thursday night by the Board of Aldermen.

Those facilities would be located in General Commercial, Mixed Use, the commercial component of Mixed Employment, Professional Business,  and Downtown Commercial/Residential. They would not be permitted in the Neighborhood Commercial. “And I believe the rationale for that, if I remember correctly, is that this is more of regional draw, and you all decided not to have that in that zone,” says Deputy Director of Planning Joe Adkins, speaking to the Mayor and the Aldermen.

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak who made the passing motion, said medical cannabis was no different than other medications: “It’s my belief in all of workshops that we’ve talked about this being much the same as other types  of medication and should be treated as such,” she said. “I’m actually glad to be at this point. I wish we could have gotten here sooner, but I’m glad to be here.”

Alderman Ben MacShane agreed with the explanation from Mr. Adkins that these facilities don’t belong in the neighborhood commercial zone, even though pharmacies are allowed. “I’m happy to move forward with the remaining locations, and we’ll see if there’s an operator and  an investor that would like to open something n the city,” he said.

Originally, the city’s Zoning Administrator likened these facilities to retail outlets which sell drugs and cosmetics. But after the city received interest from a license holder, and the local planning staff determined that the assumptions about medical cannabis dispensaries were incomplete. So this ordinance was crafted, according to the backup materials prepared by the Planning Staff.

The new ordinance takes affect October 14th, 2018.


By  Kevin McManus