Miamisburg expected to extend medical marijuana permit ban

The city is considering a 9-month extension on banning medical pot permits.

Miamisburg was among a number of communities last year from Miami to Butler counties to put a moratorium on medical marijuana permits after last year’s ballot issue passage by Ohio voters.

The city in August approved a six-month ban and others - including Beavercreek, Huber Heights, Kettering, Liberty Twp., Miami Twp. and Troy – passed similar measures.

Area communities which placed a ban on medical marijuana permits may enact similar extensions because of current uncertainty at the state and federal levels, said Miamisburg City Planner Ryan Homsi.

“Since we don’t have the final rules from the state, (Miamisburg will consider) extending the moratorium to give us more time, because they need more time to release those rules and give us more time to review them,” he said.

A recommendation to add another nine months to Miamisburg’s moratorium on approving permits involving medical marijuana is expected to go to the Miamisburg City Council next month.

Homsi said state guideline drafts now permit 18 cultivation sites and 40 retail dispensaries, but the respective deadlines for those rules are May 6 and Sept. 8, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce’s website. That translates into roughly one cultivation site for every five counties and less than one retail site for every two counties.

Rule adoption and program implementation may occur earlier than the deadline dates, according to the state. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is expected to be fully operational by September 2018, according to the state’s website.

Questions also remain whether the incoming Trump administration will carry out the same policies on medical marijuana as the Obama administration, Homsi said.

“Because they remain a Schedule I drug at the federal level and there remains some uncertainty there that we need more clarity on before passing the final rule,” he said.

After state guidelines are established, Miamisburg will discuss zoning issues for medical marijuana sites, said city Development Director Chris Fine.