FALLS TOWNSHIP >> The Falls Township Supervisors set the wheels in motion for the addition of new jobs and the reuse of a portion of the Keystone Industrial Port Complex.
Following careful consideration and questions regarding safety and security, the supervisors unanimously voted to grant final land development approval to PharmaCann Penn Plant, LLC to construct a medical marijuana facility at 150 Solar Drive. PharmaCann is the second medical marijuana facility the board approved for the former U.S. Steel property.
Last summer, the supervisors granted final approval to MLH Explorations, an entity that will partner with Jefferson University Health System in researching what causes the general conditions for people to response positively to medical marijuana treatment. MLH, which officials said previously would employ 50, would be situated on the other half of the 32-acre parcel where PharmaCann plans to build a 35,425-square-foot greenhouse and a 24,360-square-foot processing facility.
Engineer Bob Showalter told the supervisors that marijuana grown onsite would be converted into various items, including CBD oil.
“Nothing is sold here,” he told the board. “Everything is shipped off site.”
Both the PharmaCann and the MLH Explorations facilities would be secure with locks, fencing and round-the-clock security monitoring.
The Falls site would be PharmaCann’s fourth cultivation and processing center, according to Jeremy Unruh, the company’s director of regulatory and public affairs. Two other facilities were built in Illinois and another is open in Hudson Valley, New York.
PharmaCann would begin by processing oil but could eventually process marijuana into vape pens and capsules. Oil is extracted in the same manner that vanilla is extracted from plants, Unruh said. The Department of Health recently approved the use of cannabis itself. If use of the dried flower is finalized in regulations, Unruh told the Supervisors that PharmaCann employees would harvest it, weigh it, prepackage it, wrap it in child-resistant and tamper-evident packaging and distribute it to dispensaries for sale to qualified patients.
The only waste by-products at the PharmaCann facility would be plant clippings and processing waste like boxes of packaging, according to Unruh. Garden waste would be composted.
In an effort to stay ahead of the state’s medical marijuana legalization, the Falls Supervisors last year adopted a local ordinance to govern medical marijuana grower and dispensary operations. The governing body set regulations for the production and distribution of medical marijuana and outlined where facilities could be located, namely in the highway commercial; materials processing and manufacturing; and farming and mining districts. Medical marijuana operations are not permitted within 1,000 feet of a school, park, daycare center, community center or worship site.