So the meat of that meeting on Tuesday was the Medical Cannabis legislation, which would seek to allow special zoning exceptions that would permit medical cannabis to be grown in agricultural zones rather than exclusively in industrial zones. Lots of people said lots of stuff, mostly good points both for and against, with a sprinkling on top of those trembling in fear of the slippery slope that descends into Reefer Madness.
We’d like to extend a shout out to Kevin Kennedy of Kojak Industries in Mt. Airy for really distilling the essence of this legislation. He stood (March 8th, around the 42″ mark) to say that this is purely a zoning issue. Of 23 counties in Maryland, 15 licenses for the cultivation of medical cannabis will be approved. So to begin with there is no certainty that any of the applicants in Frederick County will receive a license. Passing this legislation only means there would be an opportunity for the community to consider a zoning exception within an agricultural area for a specific applicant, so it responsibly retains careful review and community feedback for each individual possible instance. Allowing the possibility means that should the community choose to grant such an exception, knowing all the details beforehand, there may be economic opportunity available to a grower’s business and that opportunity would extend other opportunities to any support service businesses in the local area. One reason this may be a better opportunity is the less expensive price of real estate in an agricultural zone as compared to an industrial zone. That is all.
Thanks for summing all that up, good sir. This structure of logical argument was darned refreshing. If only Kirby D. could, like, have a main idea and move in some sort of order when he has something to say. If you all understood what Kirby was rambling about during his Council Member Comments, that would have been a miracle. “Legislation thats getting people in the business of where the sheriff should be driving these negotiations…” Clear as mud. If you would like to look at House Bill 1556 or Senate Bill 1128, which he declined to give any context concerning (other than usurping local authority, which still failed to elucidate anything, because that’s a pure bred talking point), there’s a cool tool for that. Click on those links for a brief summary, or to read the whole bills if you so desire.