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Tallmadge mulls moratorium on medical marijuana

By ellin walsh | REPORTER Published: September 4, 2016 12:00 AM
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Tallmadge -- Although marijuana for medical purposes becomes legal in Ohio this week, the city is considering a six-month moratorium on the cultivation, processing and sale of it in Tallmadge.

Mayor Dave Kline and Law Director Megan Raber have recommended the moratorium in light of House Bill 523, which takes effect on Sept. 8. That legislation allows people in Ohio with certain medical conditions to use physician-recommended medical marijuana.

"It is unlikely that any medical marijuana dispensary will be operational in the state for the next year to two years because the state agencies involved are still in the process of implementation," Raber said.

Tallmadge City Council is considering establishing a six-month moratorium on licensed medical marijuana producers and dispensary facilities. A public hearing will be conducted on the matter Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at city hall, 46 North Ave.

Tallmadge's current zoning regulations don't address the production or dispensing of medical marijuana. Under the new state law, municipalities may establish their own regulations to prohibit or limit the number of marijuana operations.

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If the moratorium is approved, Raber said, city officials will spend the next six months evaluating whether to prohibit or limit such facilities.

"What is being proposed is a moratorium for six months that allows us to fully digest a very voluminous bill that has multiple implications," Raber told Council members Aug. 25, and to ensure any changes to the zoning code are appropriate.

As an employer, the city has a drug-free workplace policy; the law director said the city intends to maintain that.

Email: ewalsh@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9419

Twitter: @ EllinWalsh_RPC

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