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What does Huber Heights medical pot ban mean for planned growing site there?

A vote by Huber Heights city council this week to ban medical marijuana in the city will end a proposed small-scale growing facility on Executive Boulevard that got a license from the state of Ohio to open after initially getting a green light from the city.

City law director Gerald McDonald shied council members away from discussing whether the vote opened them up to a lawsuit, but he said they could work with the company on a compromise.

That compromise, proposed by Paragon Development owner Jason Wilson, would be for the city to let him build a growing facility as his license allows with the understanding no actual pot would be grown there.

RELATED: Huber Heights council approves city manager contract, bans pot

“If I don’t use that address, I lose my license,” he told council members. “Let me build my facility. You guys visit it daily. No cannabis will be in the facility at all.”

Once the state determined the operation meets the state standards for growing medical cannabis, Wilson proposes he would apply with the state to relocate it to another jurisdiction.

“That way you guys are happy. I’m happy. No problems from there,” Wilson said.

RELATED: Huber Heights residents split on medical marijuana, survey says

Paragon Development received a provisional license from the state to grow initially 3,000-square-feet in an indoor facility at 6210 Executive Blvd.

Some council members lamented that the ban will prevent a small business – with 25 employees – from opening up in Huber Heights and will mean people wanting legal cannabis will have to drive somewhere else buy it.

Others maintained that having such a facility in the community simply isn’t in the city’s best interest.

Tim Johnson, a consultant with Paragon, chided city council-members for passing a ban after previously signing off on forms that Paragon included in its state application saying the city has no prohibition against such a facility.

MAP: Where medical marijuana could be grown in Ohio

“The Ohio Department of Commerce, the state of Ohio, approved what you signed off on,” Johnson said.

“I believe what you are saying to the community as a whole is that you are anti-small business, you are anti-veterans (Wilson is a veteran) and you are anti-patient access to health care.”

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