Bensalem to hear medical marijuana dispensary application

Holistic Pharma LLC plans to open Bensalem’s first medical marijuana dispensary at 4201 Neshaminy Blvd., but local zoning laws require conditional approval from the township.

Chris Ullery @ulleryatintell

An application for a planned medical marijuana dispensary operated by Holistic Pharma LLC in Bensalem is up for conditional approval on March 25.

The dispensary at 4201 Neshaminy Blvd. requires conditional approval from township council under local zoning laws, which also regulate hours of operation between 7 a.m to 10 p.m. and prohibits dispensaries from opening within 2,000 feet of any sober living home or substance abuse rehabilitation facility.

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 prevents medicinal cannabis growers or dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of public or private schools and day care centers, but Bensalem’s marijuana zoning ordinance passed last February adds “place of worship, public park, library or community center” to the state’s rules.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health awarded Holistic Pharma a commercial dispensary permit last June, which allows the company to open up to three locations within the six-county section of the state designated as Region 1.

According to the company’s application posted on the health department’s website, the company is also proposing a dispensary at 8900 Krewstown Road in Philadelphia and another at 2030 W. Main St. in West Norriton, Montgomery County.

The company estimated roughly 203,000 people live within a five-mile radius of the Bensalem location, nearly a third of Bucks County’s population in the 2015 census. The county’s first dispensary, in Sellersville, opened last month, and another is proposed in Bristol Township. The Sellersville location ran out of supply on Tuesday and wasn’t scheduled to have stock until Thursday.

The state’s Municipalities Planning Code allows local governments to attach special requirements for conditional uses “as it may deem necessary,” outside of the local zoning

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