OH: Brecksville Will Vote On Medical Marijuana Moratorium


Brecksville, Ohio – Count Broadview Heights among the communities considering a moratorium on the growing, processing and selling of medical marijuana.

That’s what Sergio DiGeronimo, Brecksville assistant law director, told Brecksville City Council Tuesday night. It means that of the four cities along Ohio 82 in Cuyahoga County, at least three – Brecksville, Broadview Heights and North Royalton – are looking at possible medical marijuana moratoriums.

Last week, Broadview Heights Law Director Vince Ruffa did not return calls from cleveland.com regarding medical marijuana. But DiGeronimo said he heard, during a meeting of local law directors, that Broadview Heights was considering a moratorium, although he did not speak to Ruffa directly.

On Tuesday, Brecksville council asked DiGeronimo and Law Director David Matty to prepare legislation that would establish a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana in Brecksville.

The legislation will likely pass. Council members Gerald Broski, Louis Carouse Jr., Michael Harwood and Laura Redinger told cleveland.com that they favor a moratorium.

The moratorium would prevent medical marijuana businesses from opening in Brecksville, at least temporarily, and give city officials time to study a new state law that will allow patients, starting Sept. 8, to use medical marijuana prescribed by doctors. The law, House Bill 523, was signed by Gov. John Kasich on June 9 and gives municipalities 90 days to react.

HB 523 authorizes municipalities to establish their own marijuana regulations. Local governments can restrict locations where marijuana is cultivated, processed and sold, or they can ban the growing and sale of marijuana altogether. However, municipalities cannot stop patients from using medical marijuana.

The state law already provides some restrictions on medical marijuana. For example, no one can grow, process or sell marijuana within 500 feet of a school, church, library, playground or park. Also, no one is allowed to grow marijuana in their homes.

The problem is that the state won’t nail down other details in HB 523 until long after patients are allowed to start using medical marijuana Sept. 8. Municipalities like Brecksville may keep moratoriums in place until the state can work out those details.

Some Ohio communities – including Lakewood, Beavercreek, Troy and Piqua – have already placed six-month moratoriums on medical marijuana. Rocky River has introduced legislation that would ban the growing, processing and selling of medical marijuana.

DiGeronimo said Westlake is also looking at a possible medical marijuana moratorium.

Last week, North Royalton Assistant Law Director Donna Vozar said her department will recommend a six-month moratorium to North Royalton City Council on Sept. 6, two days before the law goes into effect.

Also last week, Strongsville Law Director Neal Jamison said he was examining HB 523 but had no plans to introduce legislation to Strongsville City Council, at least not yet.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Brecksville Will Vote On Medical Marijuana Moratorium
Author: Bob Sandrick
Contact: cleveland.com
Photo Credit: Bob Sandrick
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