Medical Marijuana Factory Possibly Coming to Easton - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Medical Marijuana Factory Possibly Coming to Easton

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The former Black & Decker plant outside of Easton could become the home of a medical marijuana manufacturing facility. (Photo: WBOC) The former Black & Decker plant outside of Easton could become the home of a medical marijuana manufacturing facility. (Photo: WBOC)
EASTON, Md.- Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Maryland since last year.  But the dispensary network is not yet up and running, and the factories that make it are.  One of those factories could soon be coming to Talbot County, just outside of  downtown Easton.

That's a move that has some concerned.  While the group behind the proposal is promising jobs and a self contained facility, some are still worried about the effects a medical marijuana factory could have on Easton.

The CBD Wellness Group in Baltimore has expressed interest in the former Black and Decker facility, turning it into the first medical manufacturing plant on the Eastern Shore.  They say it's one of the few places large enough to house their operation, and with this factory they intend to bring around 100 jobs, paying between $30,000 to $200,000 a year.  Money they say will be spent in the community.

Sharon Huseman, with the Talbot Partnership for Drug Abuse Prevention, said the manufacture of legal marijuana medicine could confuse people though into thinking all marijuana is beneficial.

"We already struggle with the legalization out in Colorado and Washington, that marijuana is okay, and kids younger and younger are trying it now," said Huseman.

Not everyone is opposed.

"I believe there could be lots of positive jobs that go into the business of marijuana.  There's producing it, there's taking care of it, hydroponic systems, all sorts of interesting things," said Alexandra Southworth.

"The laws have been passed already.  All you can do is hope the doctors are responsible for it, and that the growers are responsible for the amount of thc they use," said Doug Kirby.

CBD Wellness says there will be extensive security precautions in place to make sure what's grown in there stays in there.  But Talbot Partnership still isn't sold.

"Their big push is of course economic and jobs, and what it can bring for the community.  But again, I question, why can't we have another type of business in that building?" asked Huseman.

There are still two steps in the process.  First, city planner Lynn Thomas must sign off and say that this project is applicable in that location, since the zoning for "medical marijuana factory" doesn't exist in Easton yet.  Secondly, CBD has to apply for a license from the state to grow in the first place, and there are only 15 available.

Medical marijuana was first legalized in Maryland last April by then governor Martin O'Malley.  The first factories are in the process of finding locations, applying for permits and licenses to operate.  There are no dispensaries yet, those are expected to open between October of 2016 and May of 2017.  The shore has the potential for six dispenseries according to the law in Maryland.
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