Another Ohio city lifts its ban on growing medical marijuana

by Robin Ann Morris on

A string of northwest Ohio communities are considering or have passed resolutions in support of medical marijuana operations while other elected officials are rescinding past votes that prohibited such businesses.

At least four village, township, and city councils voted Monday regarding medical marijuana cultivation in their communities, as the state licensing process for such grow sites moves forward.

The state began accepting applications for level II cultivators June 5, with a deadline of Thursday for 12 licenses for grow operations with an initial cultivation area of 3,000 square feet or less. Larger operations, called level I cultivators, can have up to 25,000 square feet, and the state also will issue 12 of those licenses. Applications for those larger operations begin June 19 and end June 30.

House Bill 523, the Ohio law that last year legalized marijuana for medical use only, left it up to state agencies to determine the rules for medical marijuana’s cultivation, processing, and sale. Licenses will be announced in September.

The Sandusky City Commission on Monday voted unanimously to lift the city’s moratorium on medical marijuana cultivation. While the move wasn’t made for any specific growers, some interest has been expressed about smaller cultivation sites in Sandusky, City Manager Eric Wobser said.

“We have had folk reach out,” he said.

Oak Harbor village council did a first reading Monday evening on a resolution that would repeal a moratorium against the cultivation and processing of medical marijuana within village limits. If the resolution is ultimately approved, dispensaries would still be prohibited within Oak Harbor.

The move came after representatives from medical marijuana firm Trillium approached village leaders about placing a 100,000-square-foot cultivation and processing facility within Oak Harbor, village Administrator Randy Genzman said.

The proposed facility at Lake and Center streets could employ about 25 people when first opened, with more staff to be added later.

While the village of Stryker never passed a resolution opposing medical marijuana, village councilmen did a first reading Monday supporting cultivation and for a tentative agreement with Ohio Leaf Relief, which, if approved by the state, plans to build a large-scale cultivation site on 10 to 12 acres of village property, Mayor Joe Beck said.

Other communities are keeping their restrictions in place. German Township in Fulton County had considered a proposal by Green Leaf Gardens to open a greenhouse on property owned by the Hackett family near County Roads 24 and G.

On Monday, after a public hearing with residents, township trustees voted 2 to 1 against the proposal, Trustee Randy Ruffer said.

“That was based on residents all over the community that gave us a ‘no’ opinion,” Mr. Ruffer said.

While prospective growers can still apply while communities are considering lifting bans against cultivation, they will have to mark on their applications that there is a local law that prohibits their business, an Ohio Department of Commerce spokesman said.

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Written by: Robin Ann Morris

Founder & CEO at MaryJane Agency, LLC

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