Painesville City Council rejects moratorium on medical marijuana

By Tawana Roberts, The News-Herald

After several weeks of discussion, Painesville City Council decided not to move forward with a moratorium on medical marijuana cultivation, processing and retail dispensaries.

Council unanimously voted against the resolution at its Feb. 21 meeting.

City Manage Monica Irelan first introduced the legislation to council at the Jan. 17 meeting for the purpose of learning more about the law and establishing local control.

“When we originally talked about the moratorium, it was because we weren’t sure how the language would be crafted, so we weren’t sure about zoning regulations,” she said. “The state law has addressed that in their draft rules — the limitations on where this facility can be placed. So they have addressed the zoning concerns that I had.”

The draft discusses cultivation and processing.

Irelan said the zoning requirements for a cultivation and processing facility are stricter than for a liquor license.

“I still recommend a moratorium on dispensaries, because we do not know what that language looks like, yet,” she said.

However, Irelan said if council wants to assume that the state will do their due diligence forming regulations for dispensaries as they did with cultivation and processing, she is also comfortable with proceeding without a moratorium.

Council did not discuss any additional moratoriums at the most recent meeting.

Painesville has been approached by Growth Orchard, a company interested in opening a medical marijuana cultivation and processing facility. The owners are seeking a 5.8-acre parcel in Painesville’s Renaissance Park that will generate about 14 jobs in the first year and 30 jobs by the fifth year.

Growth Orchard plans to soon apply for cultivation and processing licenses and representatives said in order to move forward in Painesville, they would need full cooperation from the city to move quickly to meet the state’s timelines.

The state guidelines and regulations for cultivation will be adopted by May 6, according to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

Ohio law requires the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to be fully operational by September 2018.

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