Huber Heights rejects medical marijuana

Huber Heights city council voted down a zoning change to allow medical marijuana cultivators, processors and distributors, and additionally passed a moratorium on the industry in the city.

The vote against medical marijuana went against the recommendation of the city’s planning commission and and was a setback for a group of businessmen who sought to start a cultivation facility, though they said they will still fight to bring their business to the community.

The vote was claimed as a victory for a host of citizens who vocally opposed the measure.

“Thrilled,” said Melissa Petachi, who carried the charge against marijuana in the city. Earlier in the day, Petachi and others held a press conference in front of city hall opposing the industry. “It was a huge victory for citizens and our children.

The vote on both measures — rejection of the change to the zoning code and approval of the moratorium — was 6-2.

Council had recently approved a survey of residents as a barometer of public opinion on medical marijuana, a controversial but growing industry across the nation. But council nevertheless decided to move forward anyway on voting against medical pot on Monday.

Medical marijuana

“It’s unfortunate the survey wasn’t done in a more timely manner,” said Councilwoman Janell Smith, who voted against marijuana. “It wouldn’t be prudent for us to be waiting around and waiting around and kicking this down the curb for more weeks.”

Spokespeople for FW Green Investments, LLC, a firm that sought to start a cultivation facility in Huber Heights, attempted a last ditch effort to win council’s approval. They expressed displeasure with council after the vote.

Initially, those spokespeople said they would pull out of Huber Heights. But after the meeting in an exclusive interview with News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News, the businessmen expressed a desire to keep working to bring a facility to Huber Heights.

“We’re obviously disappointed in how the city reacted tonight, but we’re still excited about Huber Heights and we still intend to proceed with our initial plans,” said Steve Anevski, general council for FW Green Investments, L.L.C.

Earlier in the night, Anevski said the group would “seek legal remedies … which could cause further cost to the city.”

“We weren’t very happy with how they handled the procedures tonight,” Anevski said of the city, after the meeting. “This was a zoning hearing, and there wasn’t a lot of zoning in there, so we intend to bring this back to zoning … we’re going to revisit the zoning issue and go from there.”

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