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Entrepreneurs to apply to open pot growing plant in Baltimore

Frederick County seeks input on pot zoning rules

Two Silver Spring-based entrepreneurs have announced that they hope to open a medical marijuana growing and processing plant in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Healthy Choice Alternative LLC is in the process of applying for one of 15 cultivating licenses that Maryland will award later this year.

Attorney Eddie Pounds says the company plans to turn a vacant 118,000-square-foot building into a growing operation, which he says would bring in at least 100 jobs over three years. They expect 600 to 700 pounds of marijuana per month by the second year.

The company said it has been meeting with city officials about the proposal.

Applications for licenses to grow, process and dispense marijuana are due Nov. 6 to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

In related news, the Frederick County Council is seeking citizens’ views on whether marijuana production should be allowed on land zoned for agricultural use.

The public hearing Tuesday afternoon follows a request from a group that wants to grow cannabis at an existing greenhouse business in Middletown.

The county zoning administrator says local land-use regulations currently allow growing of medical marijuana only in industrial zones. The group seeking the change says marijuana is a crop, and growing it in farming areas makes sense.

Opponents say it’s smarter and safer to grow pot inside an industrial park warehouse. They say greenhouse-grown plants are more likely to be targeted by thieves.

The state of Maryland plans to award 15 licenses to grow medical marijuana by the end of January.

Some county and local governments are examining whether zoning rules should be adjusted to regulate where such facilities can be. Baltimore County has taken steps to amend its zoning plans, and Anne Arundel County is examining its own changes.