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Philly Advances Ban On Shops Selling Pipes And Other Accessories

The move comes one year after the Wynnefield neighborhood updated a zoning overlay

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission endorsed a City Council bill that aims to curb the rise of “convenience stores” that primarily sell drug paraphernalia.

The move to advance the legislation comes one year after the Wynnefield neighborhood updated a zoning overlay to effectively ban all new convenience stores after several shops that sold mainly drug-related products opened near a school. Since then, other neighborhood groups have approached city councilmembers seeking similar overlays, sparking concerns of patchwork regulation.

Instead, Councilmembers Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Cherelle Parker, and Bobby Henon co-authored legislation that would update and broaden the city’s definition of a “drug paraphernalia store” to include both more shops and products with the goal of making it harder for pseudo-head shops to open in the city.

“We heard about a proliferation of convenience stores in our neighborhoods, especially on our commercial corridors, selling drug paraphernalia,” Richardson said. “Oftentimes, these products are sold right next to candy and other items children are most likely to purchase.”

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