Lehigh Valley

Lower Nazareth Giant store plans to open restaurant and serve beer

LOWER NAZARETH TWP., Pa. - The Giant supermarket on Nazareth Pike in Lower Nazareth Township is seeking a liquor license and planning for a restaurant that will sell beer.

Lower Nazareth Township supervisors Wednesday night voted to advertise a liquor license transfer hearing to allow the transfer of a license from Bethlehem to the grocery store’s location near the borough of Nazareth. Other Giant stores in the Lehigh Valley are adding restaurants that serve beer, including the one at Cedar Crest Boulevard and Tilghman Street in South Whitehall Township.

Township officials had little details on the proposal other than the Giant store in Lower Nazareth plans to have seating for 32 customers. The board will hold a hearing and vote on the ordinance at its May 24 meeting.

In other business, the board voted to advertise an ordinance that would regulate where medical marijuana growers and dispensers could set up in the township.

Under the proposed ordinance, academic research with medical schools would be permitted in the health care overlay district east of Route 33 and marijuana processing, delivery and dispensing would be allowed by permitted use in the industrial-commercial corridor along Routes 33 and 248.

When a few nervous reactions rose from the sparsely attended meeting, Solicitor Gary Asteak reminded residents that “this is not your father’s weed,” adding that state law only allows medical use of marijuana in the form of pills, creams and oils that can be used in a vapor.

Asteak said the state will only issue a limited number of licenses for medical marijuana.

Chairman James Pennington said the township has not received any inquiries from medical marijuana businesses. The board will vote on the ordinance at its May 24 meeting.

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana last year, allowing patients with serious medical conditions to access, with a registered physician’s prescription, medical marijuana at an approved dispensary.

Registered physicians will be able to prescribe them for 17 qualifying diagnosed conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, autism, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and glaucoma.

The state began accepting permit applications for growing, processing and dispensing medical marijuana in February. The law is expected to be fully implemented in 2018.

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