DUBOIS – Two potential, new Sandy Township businesses made medical marijuana a topic of discussion at Monday night’s regular supervisors’ meeting.
DuBois Biopharma and DuBois Wellness Center sought input from the Sandy Township Supervisors. Both businesses had the same pair of questions.
The first question was if their business location was permitted under the current zoning. The second was to ask for a letter of support from the supervisors.
DuBois Biopharma currently has plans for a growing and processing facility in the Corbet Industrial Park. DuBois Wellness Center’s plans consist of a medical marijuana dispensary to be located at 1222 S. Brady St.
The supervisors then voted unanimously to recognize that Sandy Township zoning would permit both businesses so long as they were legal.
Recognizing Pennsylvania has legalized medical marijuana, but the federal government officially hasn’t, the supervisors included statements, noting federal law preempt local laws.
The letters of support gained approval by a 3-2 vote. These also included wording about the supervisors recognizing that federal law preempts state and local laws.
Supervisors Mark Sullivan, Dave Sylvis and Jim Jeffers voted in favor. Andy Shenkle and Darell Duttry cast the nay votes.
Shenkle explained that his opposition was rooted in fear of what might happen in the long-term if things would change.
Sylvis, along with Sullivan echoing his sentiments, explained he was opposed to recreational use.
After researching medicinal marijuana, Sylvis learned it doesn’t contain chemicals, which cause the actual high, and only the pain-killing chemicals.
Jeffers offered a different perspective for being the tie-breaking vote.
“It’s a business, it’s an industry [and] by Pennsylvania law is legal. It meets the requirements for zoning,” said Jeffers.
Jeffers also explained these businesses would bring additional tax dollars and employment to Sandy Township.
If it was legal, he did not want to treat it differently from any other business. He also added that it would require a prescription.
“I don’t know how the federal law will come down on it,” said Jeffers. He noted that the previous presidential administration deferred to the states, and he had the impression the current would lesson controls.