LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Medical marijuana dispensaries will soon be welcome in Lakewood. On October 2, Lakewood City Council passed an ordinance enabling the city to officially begin accepting applications for dispensary licenses. After the legislation goes into effect in 40 days, the city will begin issuing the permits.
“I’m hopeful that this ordinance will actually mitigate a very serious problem that we have with opioid abuse,” said Councilman Daniel O’Malley, citing a number of studies linking legalized medical marijuana with a decrease in opioid overdoses.
The move comes after Ohio House Bill 523 took effect on September 8, 2016, codifying a statewide medical marijuana control program under which licensed cultivators, processors, dispensaries and testing laboratories can legally operate within the state. At this time, Lakewood is not allowing cultivators or processing plants to locate within the city.
The city doesn’t anticipate more than one dispensary opening its doors in Lakewood, however, at least for some time. The state will only be issuing five medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Cuyahoga County, and 60 statewide. Ohio will begin its two-week review of state-level dispensary applications on November 3.
The Lakewood city council had previously passed two moratoriums on medical marijuana businesses within the city, beginning with a six-month measure passed last July.
Lakewood’s ordinance outlined an extensive application process for potential dispensaries, as well as a detailed list of regulations for any medical marijuana dispensaries eventually established within the city, including: