The Anne Arundel County Council began a hearing Monday on legislation that would make it harder for medical marijuana dispensaries, growers and processors to open within the county.
Bill 24-18—introduced by County Executive Steve Schuh—prohibits granting variances for special requirements on medical marijuana projects within the county. This will make opening those businesses harder because the county has some of the strictest special requirements within the state when building north of Route 50. The county’s administrative hearing officer grants variances after holding a hearing and deciding whether the applicant’s argument merits bending the rules.
The bill was held in a 5-2 vote with Councilman John Grasso, R-Glen Burnie, and Derek Fink, R-Pasadena, voted against the motion. The bill will be taken up at the May 7 meeting.
Without variances on the special requirements as a fallback option, medical marijuana developments will have to essentially find the perfect piece of property.
The county put out a notice about the hearing after residents and business owners showed interest in the bill. Only supporters of the bill spoke with the general theme being support for medical cannabis but variances shouldn’t be allowed.