The center is next door to the planned Towson Row
There will be a zoning hearing Tuesday morning to determine if AGG Wellness Inc. should be allowed to open a medical-cannabis dispensary at 101 E. Chesapeake Avenue in downtown Towson. It would be located across from the parking garage that serves the District Court and the library.
So far, the reaction from the community has been positive to neutral.
Councilman David Marks, who represents the area, said he’s spoken to several community groups about it and no one has voiced opposition.
“Like many Americans, I believe medical marijuana has a therapeutic value. The state has stringent requirements,” he said. “If a medical marijuana facility cannot be located in an urban setting with few residential neighbors, where is this type of place supposed to go?”
The executive director of the pro-business Greater Towson Committee also said she’s not opposed to it.
“I think everybody has to be aware that this is legal now, and I think if we open a dialogue and people are smart about where they put one, then it makes sense,” said Katie Chasney Pinheiro. “It’s next to a bail bonds store and near the court house and there is no living space within several blocks — or churches or schools. I think it’s a very smart location for it.”
Nancy Hafford, who heads the Towson Chamber of Commerce, agrees.
“We are not objecting to it,” she said. “I know people in other states who have cancer and this helps them with the sickness from chemotherapy. We support it.”
Attorney Larry Schmidt will be representing AGG Wellness, which is already a state-approved dispenser. He said the office will operate during regular business hours — probably 9AM to 7PM with limited hours on the weekend.
The lobby of the office, he said, will have a bullet-proof glass wall and patients won’t be able to enter until they have shown their prescription to the receptionist, who will then buzz them in. The cannabis will be kept in a vault, per state law, and can’t be used on the premises. There will also be a security guard on the site.
“It’s actually more secure than a typical pharmacy,” Schmidt said.
Adelaide C. Bentley, who is the unofficial mayor of East Towson and president of the North East Towson Improvement Association, said she was not aware that the dispensary was in the works, but she’s not objecting to it.
“If it’s to help people and make them better and not worse, then I’m for it,” she said, “but if it’s going to make them worse, no.”
Medical marijuana was legalized in Maryland several years ago, and dispensaries are just now opening.