Councilwoman will try to block medical marijuana dispensary –

A Philadelphia city councilwoman says she will try to block a medical marijuana dispensary from being located in her East Mount Airy district.


Cherelle L. Parker said she will appeal the zoning permit granted to TerraVida Holistic Centers, which on Thursday was awarded a potentially lucrative permit to open at 8319 Stenton Ave., near Allens Lane. Only four dispensary permits were slated for the state’s most populous city, though more could be added.

Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker represents the Ninth District.

“This is not a debate about the merits of medical marijuana — which the community and I both support — but it is solely about the proposed use at this location,” Parker said in a statement, citing concerns about public safety and security. “I remain vehemently opposed to this site.”

State Rep. Chris Rabb (D., Phila.), who lives four blocks from the proposed dispensary, said he was happy to have one in the neighborhood. He said he would welcome another within a four-block radius of his house. But Rabb said he believes the two-story structure is “specifically an awful location.”

“It’s on Stenton Avenue, which is no stranger to crime,” Rabb said of the former bank building. “And this will be a cash-only business.”

The former commander of the 14th Police District, Capt. Sekou Kinebrew, said that although that section of the city isn’t particularly violent, “we’ve had some problems there in cycles.”

“There was a guy robbing women at bus stops in late 2015,” said Kinebrew, who now serves as the department’s spokesman. “We got him, but I can understand their concerns.”

The president of TerraVida, Chris Visco, said the East Mount Airy dispensary is scheduled to open the first week of January.

“We have a

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