Xenia, Franklin and Waynesville join other SW Ohio cities enacting marijuana sales moratoriums

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Three more Southwest Ohio municipalities have passed marijuana sales moratoriums.

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in the state of Ohio, but until rules and regulations are put in place, and licenses are able to be issued, locals can’t yet buy it. The law allows, among other things, adults 21 and over to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, as well as use and grow (six plants per person and 12 per household). It also imposes a 10% sales tax.

Xenia’s city council unanimously passed a one-year moratorium on the distribution, cultivation and processing of recreational cannabis, including adult-use dispensaries last Thursday.

According to council documents, the moratorium will “preserve the current status quo” in the city while the Ohio legislature figures out its cannabis regulations, according to the legislation. The move will also give city staff time to review those guidelines, “study the impact of adult use cannabis operators in other states’ municipalities, and to make recommendations to City Council on whether such operators should be prohibited or allowed and regulated,” the resolution says.

Moratoriums have also passed in Beavercreek, Kettering, Vandalia, Miamisburg, Centerville, Springboro, Carlisle, Monroe, Hamilton, Fairfield and several other cities throughout Ohio.

Recently, Franklin and Waynesville joined the list.

Franklin’s cannabis moratorium is for six months on the processing and issuance of any permits allowing adult use cannabis operators.

Officials said the city is authorized to limit the number of, or entirely prohibit, adult use cannabis operators.

Mayor Brent Centers said the moratorium will allow city staff to review the issue and make recommendations on potential zoning regulations, prohibition, or limitations of adult use cannabis operators. Centers also said there has been no direction from the state and the moratorium will provide time to see what the state regulations will be.

Waynesville approved a 360-day moratorium in granting permits to adult use cannabis operators. Village Manager Gary Copeland said the village is also waiting for the state to establish regulations on adult use cannabis.

While the Ohio Senate passed a bill on recreational marijuana earlier this month, the House adjourned for the year without acting on marijuana. The Senate bill would reduce home grow limits from 12 plants per household to six; raise the cannabis tax rate from 10% to 15% and change where those funds would go.

It would also reduce the maximum THC content in cannabis extract products; while also adding an avenue for individuals to get cannabis charges expunged and allowing medical dispensaries to begin recreational sales within three months of the bill’s passage.

Ohioans voted to legalize the growing, processing, selling and use of recreational marijuana on Nov. 7, making the Buckeye State the 24th state to do so. Nearly 57% of Ohioans approved state Issue 2, and the law took effect Dec. 7, allowing adults 21 and older to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana as well as use and grow up to six plants per person and 12 per household.

Staff Writer Rick McCrabb contributed to this report.

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