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Like so many other cities, North Ridgeville is exploring placing a moratorium on any business related to the medical marijuana industry.

Many cities are doing the same after Ohio lawmakers legalized the use of medical marijuana in the state but did not set up a “mechanism” to oversee it, said North Ridgeville City Council President Kevin Corcoran.

North Ridgeville’s proposed ordinance was introduced and given its first reading at the Sept. 19 meeting.

It calls for a moratorium “on the granting of building permits or certificates of occupancy for any building, structure, use or change of use for the cultivation, processing or retail sale of medical marijuana for a period not to exceed 180 days,” from it going into effect.

The legislation was referred to the council’s administrative committee by Councilman Dennis Boose. The committee was to discuss the legislation prior to council’s Oct. 3 meeting.

Mayor Dave Gillock said his office has received inquiries from businesses which would be associated with the legalized marijuana that would be interested in locating in North Ridgeville, but Gillock said there are plenty of questions.

“I am still getting a mixed message regarding components of the bill,” Gillock said.

Gillock said there is confusion as to what the setbacks would be for stores, how many would be allowed in a city and if smokable marijuana would be available for sale.

At this point, Gillock wants to determine if City Council would be in favor of bringing legal marijuana business to the city and, if they do, begin to discuss zoning issues because none currently exist on the city books.

Gillock said he would be in favor of a medical marijuana business coming to North Ridgeville, but needs more information before moving forward on the issue.

“I would be in favor of allowing a dispensary from a humanitarian standpoint. Those persons that have a qualifying condition should be able to access the product, but there are many, many questions at this point. For example, if they qualify, is it covered by insurance? Currently, no physicians have been certified. Also, the users would need to obtain a prescription to buy the product, however, the prescription is still illegal under federal law. How does that work? And, how would you retain a lawyer to help set up and operate a dispensary, when the lawyer would essentially be violating federal law?” Gillock said.

North Olmsted’s City Council recently passed a similar six-month moratorium against medical marijuana businesses in that city.

North Olmsted’s safety committee Chairman Paul Barker, who is also a councilman in that city, said while he’s in favor of medical marijuana, he doesn’t want it in his city.

“Personally, I’m in favor of medical marijuana as a means of helping someone with a medical condition where it can assist them,” he said. “I have a relative who uses it that way. But, as a legislator for the city, I don’t think we should allow it in the city. There are too many potential problems with it.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: City Starting To Look At How It Would Handle Legal Pot Business
Author: Michael Fitzpatrick
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