Troy weighs medical marijuana ban

In an attempt to get some form of local medical marijuana regulations in place, Troy City Council’s law and ordinance committee will ask the council to ban dispensaries along with cultivating and processing medical marijuana in the city limits.

Council members Lynne Snee, John Schweser and Bobby Phillips recommended the total ban last week, going against the city Planning Commission recommendation of a ban on cultivating and processing and allowing one dispensary in the highway business zoning district near Interstate 75.

This is the committee’s third recommendation for local rules and regulations. Two previous proposals have failed to receive enough council votes.

The planning commission in the fall recommended banning cultivating and processing but allowing up to five dispensaries in business districts outside the central business district and the historic district.

A majority of council voted to amend that proposal to include a total ban at its Nov. 7 meeting. Five members then supported the total ban while four voted against, but a super majority of seven votes was needed under city ordinances because the planning commission recommendation had been changed.

A second proposal that would have banned cultivating and processing but allowed up to three dispensaries was defeated by council in early February.

A super majority again would be required with the amended proposal recommended Tuesday by the committee.

Committee member Lynne Snee, who previously voted against the total ban, made the motion to propose a ban of dispensaries. Fellow committee members Bobby Phillips and John Schweser, who also had voted previously against a total ban, agreed to support the recommendation.

Snee said a “practical” decision was needed to get local rules on the books. Although state law allows the sale of medical marijuana, the law also allows local governments to decide what will be allowed within their boundaries. The local rules, she said, could be changed – again with council votes – in the future.

“If we do not make a practical decision to make a decision on this issue, then we continue in this cycle,” Snee said.

“I think there are a number of people that get relief from using medical marijuana. Unfortunately, I don’t see it moving forward with council right now. That’s where we are,” Schweser said.

The two proposed ordinances – one to ban cultivating and processing and the second to amend the planning commission proposal and also ban dispensaries — are scheduled for votes at council’s meeting tonight.

A moratorium on licenses for any medical marijuana operation previously was imposed by council while it reviewed regulation options.

Elsewhere in Miami County, the city council in Tipp City has imposed a total ban, while the planning commission in Piqua has proposed a total ban to the city commission.