City Council unanimously passed six month delay for permits
MASON, Ohio —
Mason City Council said it needs more time before voting on an ordinance that would change city zoning rules on medical marijuana.
Monday, City Council unanimously passed a 180 day moratorium on granting any permit for retail dispensaries, cultivators or processors of medical marijuana.
City Council heard a first reading for ordinance 2017-139.
It would amend chapter 1171 of the zoning code to prevent the cultivation, processing and retail dispensaries of medical marijuana.
The Ohio Legislature passed medical marijuana in May 2016. It became law in September 2016, but will take until September 2018 until it is fully operational and available to patients.
Four people opposed to medical marijuana addressed council, asking for their support to ban it.
“Do I want to live in a community where my children can point across the street and that’s where they grow marijuana?” Sarah Moore said. “What kind of message does that send to them?”
Council member Kathy Grossman said she is concerned about what the law will do for Mason’s image.
“I think it will sabotage some of our economic developments to recruit high-class, high-tech companies because I think it will change the image of our city,” Grossman said. “I was looking at the beautiful M logo and I thought, ‘I don’t want that to be associated with marijuana.’ I just don’t.”
“Everyone has a different view about it and I really want to know what everyone’s view is,” Council member Barbara Berry-Spaeth said. “I want to be able to take the time to listen to both sides of it.”
Berry-Spaeth said while she personally already knows how she feels about the zoning ordinance, she wants to hear from the public.
A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2018.
By Emily Wood – WLWT5