CLEVELAND, OH — Cleveland City Council, on Monday, adopted zoning legislation that will allow medical marijuana businesses to operate within the city. The legislation will not allow these businesses to be run within 500 feet of schools, parks, churches or libraries.
In Sept. 2016, the state government passed legislation allowing medical marijuana to be cultivated and sold in Ohio. The state will allow 24 growers and 40 processors to operate throughout the Buckeye State. Cuyahoga County can have up to five dispensaries.
Marijuana processors will make things like marijuana oils, patches, topical lotions, edibles and capsules. Regulating those businesses, along with the actual growers, has been left, partly, up to municipalities like Cleveland.
Other cities in Cuyahoga County have already passed similar legislation. Lakewood paved the way for medical marijuana in the city Oct. 2, when Lakewood City Council passed comprehensive legislation regulating the possible industry.
Cleveland’s restrictions on the medical marijuana business, like Lakewood’s legislation, generally reflects what the state has already prohibited. While some residents and city officials in Cuyahoga County have been wary of allowing medical marijuana to operate, others feel the development of the industry is inevitable.
“Medical marijuana is coming to a nearby neighborhood, whether we like it or not. It is the Law of Ohio and investors are lined up around the corner everywhere in Ohio. There will be five dispensaries in Cuyahoga County in the first round. Probably more at a later date,” said Mayor Mike Summers in an email to Patch in early October.
One possible benefit of medical marijuana in Ohio is the reduction of opiate use. A recent, peer-reviewed study showed that medical marijuana users reduced their use of conventional pharmaceuticals, such as opiates.