TROY — The Law and Ordinance Committee of Troy City Council OK’d the city’s amended ordinance Tuesday to allow up to three medical marijuana dispensaries to be located in the B-4 Highway Business District.
The committee fielded comments and questions from community members and council members both in favor and against the medical marijuana access in the city of Troy.
Committee member Lynne Snee reminded those in attendance that the committee’s decision lies only to amend the zoning code before agreeing to positively recommend the ordinance to council as proposed. Chairman John Schweser and Bobby Phillips also OK’d the recommendation.
“It a decision to act on a state approved item and state approved use of medical marijuana and to make a decision that if a dispensary business decides to locate in Troy, we would have regulations on the books that would say you can locate within this zoning district,” Snee said. “I’m a little troubled that when I hear people say that we are deciding to have medical marijuana in Troy, because that’s not our decision. That’s an economic decision whether a business decides to go forward to pursue one of these state licenses.”
Snee said she is unsure if someone will decide to pay for the license and locate in Troy, but council’s decision is only to determine where one would be located if one was to open in the business highway district only.
Phillips concurred with Snee’s position. An emergency designation is not recommended on the issue.
Brock Heath, council member, spoke against the issue, noting he wasn’t against anyone legally accessing medical marijuana, he was concerned about the message the city was sending if they were to be allowed to operate in Troy.
“I just don’t understand the benefit having these in Troy, we are not limiting the ability to use it for health benefits. The last thing I want to see is someone who is hurt and not getting treatment, so please go get the the product and have it there, I just don’t see the benefit of the trade off to have these types of messages and stores next to Wal-mart. …,” Heath said.
According to reports, the Ohio Department of Commerce, State Board of Pharmacy and State Medical Board are working on guidelines to implement the medical marijuana bill, which was legalized last September. The Medical Marijuana.Ohio.Gov site held a public comment period regarding the dispensary rules, which closed Jan. 13.
According to the most recent reports regarding medical marijuana dispensaries, 40 licenses have been approved so far in the state.
Patients qualify if they have the following conditions: HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic, severe, and intractable; Parkinson’s disease; post traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis. Individuals can petition the state medical board to add conditions.
On Dec. 14, the Troy Planning Commission voted to recommend to city council a citywide ban on cultivators and processors of medical marijuana and allow a maximum of three medical marijuana retail dispensaries in the B-4 Highway Service Business District only. The ordinance amends the city’s zoning code. The Planning Commission previously recommended up to five dispensaries, which council amended to three, and was then defeated.
On Nov. 21, Troy City Council failed to pass its complete ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, sending the ordinance back to the Troy Planning Commission for review.
Council voted to extended the moratorium on medical marijuana on Nov. 7. The second 180-day moratorium will expire July 13, 2017.
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