OH: Colerain Moratorium Blocks Medical Marijuana Businesses


Colerain Township officials say they will review law before taking steps to address medical marijuana in the township zoning code. To buy time for this review, trustees passed a moratorium on businesses connected to medical marijuana while they figure out what’s best for the community.

The passage of Ohio House Bill 523 legalized use of medical marijuana in June, efective Sept. 6. That meant local governments had about three months to look at their zoning regulations to see how or if officials wanted to regulate those sales.

Details about how medical marijuana would be licensed, cultivated and dispensed are still being worked out. The law establishes a Medical Marijuana Control Commission, to administer the Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The program will allow patients, with a physician’s recommendation, to use medical marijuana for a qualifying medical condition. The patient, any caregivers and the physician must be registered through the program. Personal use of medical marijuana is not allowed, and it can’t be smoked or used in any combustible way. It will be available through oils, tinctures, plant materials, edibles and patches.

Frank Birkenhauer, former assistant administrator for Colerain Township, said in July that zoning issues connected to the sale of medical marijuana were on the township’s radar, and discussions were underway.

In August, Colerain Township trustees approved a one-year moratorium on the issuance and processing of any permits allowing retail dispensaries, cultivators or processors of medical marijuana within the township.

Jenna Le Count, director of building planning and zoning for the township, told the board the zoning staff wanted time to review the new law. Trustee Michael Inderhees said there is no harm in waiting and it will likely be a year before the state regulations overseeing the cultivation, processing and retail dispensing of medical marijuana will be in place.

Ohio law authorizes a township board of trustees to limit the number of, or entirely prohibit, cultivators, processors, or retail dispensaries licensed under Ohio Revised Code.

The resolution says the township administrator and staff are to review the new law and related issues and recommend regulations for the board to consider.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Colerain Moratorium Blocks Medical Marijuana Businesses
Author: Jennie Key
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