Troy delays action on pot ban

The city is deciding whether to allow marijuana businesses.

A proposed citywide ban on retail dispensaries, cultivators and processors of medical marijuana in Troy is on hold to allow the city Planning Commission time for more discussion on the issue.

City Council has already approved a 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana businesses in response to a new state law permitting these businesses beginning in September.

Troy is among several cities around the region, including Beavercreek, implementing or discussing bans on marijuana businesses and comes after Gov. John Kasich signed a bill on June 8, making cannabis legal for medical use.

The proposed ban, recommended by city staff to the commission, stated it was intended to “preserve the public peace, health and safety of Troy.”

Commission member Larry Wolke said, “As a supporter of medical marijuana, I have a problem with this.”

Commission member Jim McGarry said he “was not necessarily a proponent of use of marijuana … but am curious as to why we are doing it (considering a ban).”

The commission makes recommendations to council on zoning issues and the proposed ban would be in city zoning code. The commission discussed the ban Wednesday but took no action because two of its seven members were not present.

Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director, said that from a city staff perspective “we don’t think it is appropriate” and didn’t think the ban would be antibusiness. He also said there was no assurance the council would approve the ban.

“This is a business I would assume let someone else have an opportunity and not us,” said Mayor Mike Beamish, citing the community focus on drug addiction and abuse. He later said: “I understand medical marijuana and the value – at least the research is demonstrating that – but there’s abuses going on right now. I am not in favor of adding to that opportunity for abuse.”

Wolke made the motion to table the commission recommendation, noting that it appeared there would not be a positive recommendation to the council if the commission voted Wednesday. Both Beamish and Titterington are commission members.

The commission is expected to discuss the proposed ban at its next meeting Sept. 14.