Dispensary owner considering other locations

Updates on the medical marijuana dispensary being considered for Krewstown Road were discussed at last week’s Greater Bustleton Civic League.

Many issues were tackled during Greater Bustleton Civic League’s meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, but none got neighbors talking like the neighborhood’s proposed medical marijuana dispensary.

GBCL president Jack O’Hara gave a small update on the progress of the dispensary, telling neighbors that Holistic Pharma CEO Keith Morgan had explored two alternate locations for the dispensary other than 8900 Krewstown Road, which is in a residential area. O’Hara said Morgan ruled out one of the locations, but was still tentatively interested in the other. No final decisions have been made.

Neighbors voiced concern for why Morgan didn’t opt to move the Holistic Pharma location to a nearby commercial location on Bustleton Avenue, which has more retail options.

GBCL held a special meeting in July to discuss the dispensary with Morgan, who has all necessary city, state and zoning approvals. At the end of that meeting, about two-thirds of the neighbors in attendance voted against the dispensary opening in an informal engagement of community reaction. The vote bears no impact on if the dispensary will open or not.

Many neighbors who spoke at the September meeting echoed a similar sentiment; they have nothing against medical marijuana, but do not want a dispensary opened in their neighborhood. A few voiced concerns of how it would affect crime and property values in the area.

Most of it was just retreading territory already covered in the July meeting, as Holistic Pharma still has not made a final choice. O’Hara suggested the possibility of bringing Morgan to a future GBCL meeting to further discuss the matter.

In other news:

• Capt. Michael Gormley, commander of the 7th Police District, said the summer was overall uneventful in terms of crime. Overall crime was down 9 percent from 2016, including burglaries dropping 16 percent. He noted that upcoming cool weather makes it easy for crooks to wear disguises like hooded sweatshirts, and advised neighbors to continue being careful and to reach out to police if they see anything suspicious.

• The Bustleton Bengals are holding a clothing drive on Saturday, Oct. 7, for hurricane victims. In addition, the gym committee is still running a fundraiser for engraved bricks that will become a permanent part of the building. There is no set date on when the gym will open.

• A Bustleton cleanup crew is always looking for more volunteers. A group of residents cleans Red Lion Road every weekend.

• In zoning news, the demolition at 9996 Bustleton Ave. is complete. Construction on a new AutoZone location will begin soon. Additionally, four new construction permits were posted at 1200 Norwalk Road, a site where an old farmhouse was recently demolished and cleared.

• A representative from Keep Philadelphia Beautiful spoke about an initiative for the city to produce zero waste by 2035. Zero waste means diverting 90 percent of the waste generated by a community from landfills. Neighbors can visit CleanPHL.org to learn hyperlocal information about litter and cleaning in their neighborhood. The representative also stressed that no plastic bags, Styrofoam or food and liquid should be placed in recycling bins.

• Real estate agent Scott Weinberger discussed the state of Bustleton real estate. He said the average property was valued around $230,000-plus, and was growing at about the same rate as the rest of Philadelphia. He stressed that curbside appeal is important to potential neighbors moving into the area, as the first thing they see is the cleanliness of the neighborhood. ••