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Carlisle ordinance sets limits on medical marijuana operations

Carlisle Borough officials on Thursday unanimously approved an ordinance that lays out where medical marijuana facilities will be allowed in the borough.

The ordinance passed Dec. 8 allows medical marijuana grower and processor facilities to operate only in parts of the Cumberland County borough that are zoned industrial.

The borough’s intention is to limit medical marijuana production to designated areas and be as proactive as possible in barring production from areas near homes and schools, said Susan Armstrong, assistant borough manager in Carlisle.

“We felt it was inherent to regulate the land-use activities to the extent that the industry can be regulated under the Act,” Armstrong said, referring to Act 16, the state law allowing medical use of marijuana.

The ordinance amends the borough’s code to allow production and processing of medical marijuana in the borough’s I-1 Industrial Zoning District.

The restriction is in line with the language of Act 16.

The areas Carlisle designated for medical marijuana facilities are located on the outskirts of the borough where there are already industrial operations such as warehouses, Armstrong said.

So far no businesses have presented plans to the borough, according to Armstrong.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is expected to open the application process for grower and processor businesses in January, and applicants should have land secured when they apply.

Approved grower and processor businesses will have six months from the day they are approved to be operating and open for business.

Temporary regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries appear in the Pennsylvania Bulletin dated Saturday, Dec. 10, the department said.

Lenay Ruhl

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