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Reactions in area cities have run the gamut from total prohibition to partnerships with applicants for cultivation licenses.
So far, the trend so far has favored moratorium, if not prohibition.
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But Carlisle in Warren County and Yellow Springs in Greene County have responded to the coming of medical marijuana by allowing for a business to set up on municipal property within their limits, once the state regulations take effect.
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And other communities are leaning this way.
Federally, marijuana is still classified by the Food & Drug Administration as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
But Ohio lawmakers legalized medical marijuana earlier this year.
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State law allows for the cultivation, processing or distribution — with a doctor’s note — of forms of the marijuana other than directly the plant.
The Lebanon council is divided on the proposed moratorium, debated over several hours in meetings over the past two months.
Last week, they made no comment during the portion of the last work session scheduled before Tuesday’s vote.
But discussion was rekindled after Councilman Jim Norris noted the continuing debate, since the passing of the deadline for cultivation applications, on how much of the applications should be public.
The deadline passed without an application being approved for the unincorporated areas of Warren County, where zoning officials first indicated interest had been shown.
And there has been no indication any of the state applicants were looking at sites in the county, except in Carlisle.
“That would seem to close the book on it,” Norris said.
However, Mayor Amy Brewer said a vote on the moratorium still was logical, if only to make official the council’s “philosophy” on the issue.
While the cultivation application deadline passed, the state is not expected to roll out rules for processing, distribution or other aspects of the medical marijuana program until September.
Norris said the moratorium vote should be held Tuesday, due to the unsettled nature of the issue.
“We need to see what else is in the hopper,” he said.
Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program Dates
Sept. 8, 2016
Effective date of Ohio House Bill 523. HB 523 establishes the basic framework for Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program.
May 6, 2017
Cultivator rules to be adopted by this date.
Sept. 8, 2017
Processor, testing lab, dispensary, patient-caregiver and physician certificate rules to be adopted.
Sept 8, 2018
Ohio law requires the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to be fully operational by this date.
Source: Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program