Planning for Medical Marijuana

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Delaware County Planning can help municipalities find information on local implementation of the Medical Marijuana Act.

If your municipality is concerned about the land use implications of the Medical Marijuana Act, PA Act 16, Delaware County Planning Department can help you find resources on how the Medical Marijuana Act relates to land use in your community.

Before implementing municipal zoning related to medical marijuana, it is advised that municipalities consult with their solicitor. Some municipalities are using specific zoning to clarify the commercial or manufacturing zones that meet the requirements of PA Act 16 to make finding a location easier for medical marijuana businesses. Other municipalities are requiring buffers from uses beyond those spelled out in the PA Act 16. The APA Pennsylvania’s Resource Library includes links to articles and zoning ordinance text about both of these strategies from around the state.

The Medical Marijuana Act has few direct references related to land use and zoning and the state has not come out with any specific guidance. However, Section 2107 of the Act, which covers zoning, requires that medical marijuana uses be allowed in appropriate industrial or commercial zoning districts. Even without specific zoning, medical marijuana dispensaries may not be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care center as specified in Section 802.3 or the act.

The American Planning Association (APA), Pennsylvania Chapter’s Resource Library is an excellent resource about municipal actions on medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. This resource library contains the latest information on state regulations, articles, and model ordinances related to locating medical marijuana facilities. Some of the most helpful resources from this guide include the Land Use Implication of the Medical Marijuana Act created by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission’s Medical Marijuana Model Ordinance.

Questions about the land use implications of medical marijuana? Contact the Planning Department at 610-891-5200 or

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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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