Girard Council to draft ordinance regulating medical marijuana businesses

By Sarah Lehr


City council is working to draft an ordinance to regulate medical-marijuana businesses within the city.

Council’s economic development committee will study the issue. Council may vote on the matter at a later date after bringing legislation out of committee.

An Ohio law legalizing medical marijuana took effect last year, though the state’s regulatory program is not required to become fully operational until September 2018.

Municipalities and townships have the authority to ban or limit the number of medical-marijuana businesses in their communities.

Liberty, Austintown, Canfield and Poland have prohibited the facilities.

Girard council members have indicated they would welcome medical-marijuana businesses, though council may impose city regulations on the operations.

Law Director Brian Kren suggested council model its medical-marijuana ordinance on regulations approved last month by Canton City Council.

Though the Ohio Department of Commerce already regulates medical-marijuana cultivators, processors and dispensaries, Canton has added its own local rules. In addition to state licenses, medical-marijuana businesses will need to pay $500 to apply for one-year provisional authorization from the city of Canton. The business will later have to pay $5,000 for a two-year operating license from the city and will be subject to inspections by Canton police.

In other business, council approved the purchase of five Ford SUVs for the police department for no more than $200,000.

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