Medical marijuana prohibition tabled

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — City Council tabled the third reading of the city’s proposed ordinance that would prohibit the cultivation, processing and retail sale of medical marijuana within city limits.

Councilman Mike Smith made the request to table the measure, saying he wished to consult the city map further and determine the areas where a dispensary could be located should the activity be permitted.

“I don’t know how the rest of the council feels, but I’d like to know where it could go versus where it can’t go,” Smith said.

Planning and Zoning Director Tom Murphy said activity related to medical marijuana would be prohibited within 500 feet of churches, schools, libraries or playgrounds, according to state law. Council members said they will look more closely at the locations of such institutions. Council will address the issue again during the next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18.

During previous meetings, council members had decided to draw up a prohibitive ordinance, having come to the consensus that state laws and regulations surrounding the medical marijuana businesses were unclear.

Mayor Terry Pugh said there has been no feedback from the public about the proposed ordinance. Pugh added that no businesses related to marijuana have contacted city officials.

Recently, local businessman Ron Naylor announced his plan to open a dispensary in Lansing. He is one of six people who have applied with the state to open a local facility. Of the other five, three applications are for Jefferson County and two are for Columbiana County.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy’s deadline to apply for medical marijuana dispensary licenses passed in recent days, with the state having received 370 requests as of Nov. 17. Of those 370, the board is permitted to grant up to 60 provisional licenses.

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