PIQUA — During their next meeting on Tuesday evening, the Piqua City Commission is expected to vote on a zoning amendment that would prohibit medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and/or retail dispensaries within the city.
The commission has already held two readings on this possible amendment. During the commission’s last meeting, City Planner Chris Schmiesing gave a brief history of the legalization of medical marijuana, also noting that there are currently draft rules available for how the state plans to regulate this new medical marijuana industry. The state hopes to have those rules adopted by next month and have medical marijuana operational by September 2018.
The state is only allowing approximately 60 dispensaries to obtain a license to sell medical marijuana within the entire state. The state also provided municipalities the option of banning medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and/or retail dispensaries within the city code.
This zoning prohibition came to the commission as a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Board. Chairman Jim Oda, who was also present during the commission’s last meeting, explained the board’s decision to recommend a zoning prohibition. Oda argued that this would keep the city of Piqua in control versus the state because the state would be in control of deciding where medical marijuana facilities would be located.
Oda also argued that the city can amend the zoning again in the future to allow medical marijuana facilities after they see the type of effect it has on other municipalities within the state.
Dr. Jim Burkhardt of Piqua also attended the meeting, arguing that there is not enough good research on medical marijuana. Burkhardt advised that it would be best used for chronic nerve pain or glaucoma.
Another resident also came forward and spoke against the possible zoning prohibition, saying that it would be a mistake for Piqua not to try and obtain one of the 60 possible dispensary licenses. The resident argued that it could be an economic boost for the city.
The commission’s next meeting will take place Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336