Lehigh Valley

Commissioners hear details on proposed medical marijuana dispensary in Bethlehem Twp.

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. - Bethlehem Township commissioners held a hearing on allowing a medical marijuana dispensary to open in the township.

Justice Grown, which operates a dispensary in Luzerne County and plans to open another in Lackawanna County, wants to open a dispensary at 3650 Nazareth Pike (Linden Street).

The Nazareth Pike location is just north of Oakland Road, Josh Early Candies and the border with the city of Bethlehem, in a strip mall known as the Bethlehem Village Shops.

Abbe Kruger, head of Pennsylvania operations for the dispensary, described the lengthy and highly regulated approval process the business went through at the state level to get a permit, under questioning from her attorney, Stanley Margle.

The dispensary would serve about 800 patients weekly, be open no later than 7 p.m. and employ a security guard. Kruger said she has had no security or crime problems at the Edwardsville, Luzerne County, location, which opened last year.

Smoking marijuana itself is not allowed for medical use in Pennsylvania. Kruger said the most common legal use is through vaping cartridges.

The dispensary would have eight to 10 employees on duty at any time, with security cameras on the perimeter, an enclosed garage to accept deliveries and no glaring signs. Vans that deliver marijuana "must be unmarked" she said, and at the township's request, would be unloaded in a garage, not in the open.

Use of marijuana in any form will not be allowed on the premises, she said, and the area outside will be monitored.

Kruger said she plans to open Justice Grown in the township as soon as possible and definitely by year's end.

The board did not vote on the application Monday night, pending review of plans. A final vote will be taken at a future meeting.

RELATED: Bethlehem Township may be host to charter school in 2023

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