Brian and Angie McGinness, of Riverbound Farm, will be requesting a special use permit for the potential establishment of a medical marijuana compassion center near St. Anthony.
The request, which will be presented to the Morton County Planning and Zoning Commission this evening, is a first for the county, according to Natalie Pierce, Morton County’s director of planning and zoning.
“It’s something interesting and out of the usual routine,” she said.
The McGinnesses own a 38-acre farm, where they operate an organic produce subscription service. The couple is interested in establishing a medical marijuana growing/processing facility on 3 acres of their existing farm.
The North Dakota Department of Health began accepting applications from potential manufacturers of medical marijuana March 16, with an April 19 deadline. The McGinnesses said they hope to be one of the two manufacturers the state selects to be registered.
In order for their application to be processed and approved by the state, the county must first sign off on the location the McGinnesses have selected for the potential compassion center.
Morton County will allow medical cannabis growing and processing facilities in its agricultural and industrial districts; however, a special use permit is required. Riverbound Farm qualifies, as it’s zoned agricultural.
About seven residences are located within a mile of the farm, with the closest neighbor living 890 feet from the proposed facility. No schools, daycare facilities, public parks, public playgrounds or churches are located nearby.
The county does not currently allow medical marijuana to be grown in greenhouses or hoop houses. If granted a special use permit, the McGinnesses said they would prefer to grow the product in four hoop house structures, while conducting processing activities in a smaller hard-sided structure.