Commission OKs limited number of medical marijuana stores

Troy Planning Commission approves zoning amendment to allow up to five dispensaries

By Melanie Yingst - [email protected]

TROY — City staff modified its proposed ban to allow a limited number of retail dispensaries such as pharmacies distribute medical marijuana in certain business zones on Wednesday.

Troy Planning Commission unanimously approved limiting the number of retail dispensaries, instead of the first proposed overall ban. The amendment to the zoning code will go to council for consideration with commission approval.

The amendment will ban the cultivation and processors of medical marijuana, but will allow up to five pharmacies dispense the drug. The issue was tabled during the August session due to two commissioners absent from the meeting and Commissioners Larry Wolke and Jim McGarry questioned whether it may be in the best interest to allow a limited number of dispensaries instead of an overall ban.

“What the staff is recommending now is that we do a city-wide ban on cultivators and processors, but then we are limiting the number of dispensaries,” said Tim Davis, planning and zoning manager.

President Alan Kappers asked Davis what changed staff’s mind from an overall ban to allowing up to five dispensaries.

Davis said through discussions held at the previous planning commission meeting, city staff decided to relax its ban to allow businesses to provide medical marijuana as well as local residents who may be prescribed the drug to acquire in Troy.

The amendment also prohibits cultivator, processor, retail dispensary, or laboratory from being located or relocating within 500 feet of a school, church, public library, public playground, or public park, which is state law. For example, The CVS Pharmacy on West Main Street will be ineligible to dispense medical marijuana due to its proximity to a church on Sherman and Ash.

Mayor Michael Beamish said the medical community has had some issues and concerns about needing more clarity regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

“I would think before something happens, the medical community is going to have to get behind this and the pharmaceutical community is probably is going to want to know what is required or what is the limits or what is the action they need to be understanding. I think a lot of that is up in the air,” Beamish said. “So I think what we are doing is being a little proactive but still taking a step back and wait and see what the state comes up with.”

Beamish said council could come back later and revisit the issue if changes are made.

“We listened and we made a recommendation at this time we can live with at this time,” Beamish said.

The following business zones will allow the sale or dispensary of medical marijuana: within a B-1 (Local Retail District), B-2 (General Business District) or B-4 (Highway Service Business District) zoning district.

The amendment will not allow the sale in the downtown historical district or B-3 central business district.

Beginning on Sept. 8, Ohio became the 25th state to enact legislation allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana by approving House Bill 523. The bill will authorize the use of marijuana for medical purposes and establish the Medical Marijuana Control Program, which allows people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, to purchase and use medical marijuana.

On July 18, Troy City Council approved a moratorium of 180 days for permits pertaining to the medical marijuana issue.

According to the state of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program website, certified physicians may recommend medical marijuana only for the treatment of a qualifying medical condition. Under Ohio law, all of the following are qualifying medical conditions: AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.

Troy Planning Commission approves zoning amendment to allow up to five dispensaries

By Melanie Yingst

[email protected]

Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her Twitter @Troydailynews

Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her Twitter @Troydailynews

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