It will not be the first time council has considered a moratorium. In 2017, council spent several months debating whether it should impose a moratorium. Council ended the debate by letting the proposed legislation die without a vote.
City Manager Scott Brunka said Lebanon’s zoning code allows medical marijuana dispensaries to be located anywhere a pharmacy can go. He said council could impose the moratorium for more time to study the issue.
Law Director Mark Yurick said the moratorium would not impact the city’s current medical marijuana dispensary operator.
Yurick said he still cannot understand how the state can award licenses for medical marijuana businesses, even though marijuana is still a prohibited drug. He also added that he didn’t understand how these businesses get around federal banking laws.
“It sends an incredibly mixed message on how the community feels about marijuana,” Yurick said.
The state Medical Marijuana Control Program said it used the following factors to determine the number of dispensary licenses such as the population of the state; the number of patients seeking to use medical marijuana; and the geographic distribution of dispensary sites. The state is using a metric of 1,200 registered patients per dispensary per district in an attempt to strike a balance between expanding patient access and ensuring viable dispensary operations.
There are no changes to the rule on the number of dispensaries an owner can have and that limit remains at five dispensaries.
More information on applying for a dispensary license is expected to be released soon by the state Medical Marijuana Control Program.