Medical Marijuana

ORDINANCE 2017-3


An Ordinance Recognizing the Medical Marijuana Industry and Specifying the Placement of Medical Marijuana Growers/Processors and Dispensaries in the City of Hazleton

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Hazleton is concerned with the health, safety and general welfare of the people who live and work in the City of Hazleton (hereinafter the “ City”); and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has enacted Act 16 entitled “The Medical Marijuana Act,” and has established rules and regulations within that Act; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Hazleton wishes to take a proactive approach to this new business/industry by allowing the growers/processors and distributors to be established in certain zoning districts within the City.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Hazleton that it does hereby enact the “City of Hazleton Medical Marijuana Ordinance” establishing rules and regulations for the development of growers/processors and distributors, and outlining penalties for any infraction thereof.

Section 1. Definitions.

The following words and phrases used in this Ordinance shall have the meaning given to them in this Section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  • Act – Act 16 of April 17, 2016, P.L. 84 No. 16 CL 35.
  • Commonwealth – the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Department – The Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Dispensary – A person, including a natural person, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other entity, or any combination thereof, which holds a permit issued by the Department of Health to dispense medical marijuana. The term does not include Health Care Medical Marijuana Organization as described in Section 19 of Act 16.
  • Grower/Processor – A person, including a natural person, corporation, association, partnership, trust or other entity, or combination thereof, which holds a permit from the Department of Health under Act 16 to grow and process marijuana. The term does not include Health Care Medical Marijuana Organization as described in Section 19 of Act 16.
  • Health Care Medical Marijuana Organization - A vertically integrated health care system approved by the Department of Health to grow and process, to dispense medical marijuana, or both, in accordance with Chapter 19 of Act 16 under research programs.
  • Medical Marijuana – Marijuana for certified medical use as set forth in Act 16.
  • Medical Marijuana Organization – A dispensary or a grower/processor. The term does not include a Health Care Medical Marijuana Organization as described in Section 19 of Act 16.
  • Permit – An authorization issued by the Department of Health to a medical marijuana organization to conduct activities under the Act.
  • Principal – An officer, director or person who directly owns a beneficial interest in or ownership of the securities of an applicant or permittee, a person who has controlling interest in an applicant or permittee, or has the ability to elect the majority of the board of directors of an applicant or permittee, other than a financial institution.
  • City – City of Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

Section 2. Enforcement.                      

Medical marijuana growers/processors and dispensaries shall abide by all laws as set forth by this Ordinance, the Federal Government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including any agency acting for/under the direction of the above-named entities.

Medical marijuana growers/processors shall be classified as an Industry, and as such, be allowed in the I-1 (Industrial District) and the I-2 (Heavy Industrial District) zones as established by the official Zoning Map adopted by the City December 14, 1995, and shall conform to all regulations set forth for those zones, along with any other regulations adopted by the City, as well as all Commonwealth regulations. Should any regulations be stricter than those imposed by the City, the stricter regulation shall apply. Applications for any other zoning districts will require a variance from the City of Hazleton Zoning Hearing Board.           

Medical marijuana growers/processors shall have a fence surrounding their property of not less than eight (8ʹ) feet in height and constructed with industry standard materials. Barbed wire may be used if called for in Federal, Commonwealth or Department regulations.

Medical marijuana growers/processors or distributors shall not be located closer than one thousand (1,000ʹ) feet from any daycare or public, private or parochial school.

Medical marijuana growers/processors shall be located no closer than one thousand (1,000ʹ) feet from any residential use or any residential district zone.

Where a medical marijuana operation abuts on the side or rear property line of a district having residences as its principal permitted use, an attractive fence or solid wall constructed of industry standard materials, and not less than eight (8ʹ) feet in height, shall be erected and maintained along said boundary.

Medical marijuana greenhouses used by growers/processors shall have a liner and a water return system installed in order to avoid contamination of the soil and water table.

Outside lighting shall be directed away from adjacent properties.          

There shall be no odors, fumes, smoke, dust or any other noxious pollutants discharged from the facility which exceed Federal and Commonwealth regulations.

There shall be no storage of any form of marijuana or its byproducts outside the facility.

Medical Marijuana dispensaries shall be classified as commercial and allowed in the I-2 (General Industrial District) zones as established by the Official Zoning Map adopted by the City on December 14, 1995, and shall conform to all regulations set forth for those zones along with any other regulations adopted by the City, as well as all Commonwealth Regulations. Should any regulations be stricter than those imposed by the City, the stricter regulation shall apply. Applications for any other zoning districts will require a variance from the City of Hazleton Zoning Hearing Board.

No dispensaries shall be allowed in any residential zones.

A setback of not less than one hundred (100ʹ) feet with a twenty-five (25ʹ) foot vegetative buffer, for a total of one hundred twenty-five (125ʹ) feet, shall be maintained between medical marijuana dispensaries and any principal permitted residential use.

All Commonwealth or Department permits for medical marijuana growers/processors and dispensaries shall be provided to the City.

All regulations in the City Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance and the City Storm Water Ordinance shall be adhered to.

No medical marijuana dispensaries shall be erected on a lot that is less than a minimum of one (1) acre.

All medical marijuana growers/ processors and dispensaries must be licensed to operate in the City of Hazleton.

Section 3. Bond Requirements.

  1. Growers/Processors shall post a bond in the amount of one million ($1,000,000) dollars to secure the City’s potential cost of soil and/or water contamination or abatement of unsafe or dangerous conditions as authorized by law or any provisions of this Ordinance.
  1. If the City does incur such costs, the City may recover such costs from the posted bond or other security, in addition to pursuing any other remedy authorized by law.

Section 3. Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon passage by the Council of the City of Hazleton.

ORDAINED AND ENACTED by Council this 21st day of February, 2017.

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