Pubdate: Sun, 02 Jul 2017
Source: Philadelphia Daily News (PA)
Copyright: 2017 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Author: Sam Wood


A Philadelphia city councilwoman says she will try to block a medical
marijuana dispensary from being located in her East Mount Airy district.

"This is not a debate about the merits of medical marijuana -- which
the community and I both support -- but it is solely about the
proposed use at this location," Parker said in a statement, citing
concerns about public safety and security. "I remain vehemently
opposed to this site."

State Rep. Chris Rabb (D., Phila.), who lives four blocks from the
proposed dispensary, said he was happy to have one in the
neighborhood. But Rabb said he believes the two-story structure is
"specifically an awful location."

"It's on Stenton Avenue, which is no stranger to crime," Rabb said of
the former bank building. "And this will be a cash-only business."

The former commander of the 14th Police District, Capt. Sekou
Kinebrew, said that although that section of the city isn't
particularly violent, "we've had some problems there in cycles."

"There was a guy robbing women at bus stops in late 2015," said
Kinebrew, who now serves as the department's spokesman. "We got him,
but I can understand their concerns."

The president of TerraVida, Chris Visco, said the East Mount Airy
dispensary is scheduled to open the first week of January.

"We have a commitment to open there, but we will keep our options
open," Visco said. "One of the reasons we bought it is it's a former
bank. We like that community. We can create great jobs there and
hopefully spark some more development there."

TerraVida also is set to open dispensaries in Abington and

The competition for dispensary permits was highly competitive. An
anonymous panel reviewed more than 280 applications. Aspirants vied
for a chance to provide cannabis oils, tinctures, lotions, and vapor
cartridges to patients wanting to treat their ailments with medical
marijuana. The panel weighed answers to 30 questions before tallying
up points and awarding a total of 27 permits.

"Whether or not a community was for or against an application does not
appear to have been a factor in scoring them," said Seth A. Goldberg,
a partner at Duane Morris LLC who heads the firm's cannabis practice.
"But I'm sure of all those granted permits are happy."
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MAP posted-by: Matt