TIPP CITY — At their meeting Monday night, the Tipp City council voted to prohibit medical marijuana cultivation, processing, and retail within city limits.
Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s zoning code to ban the growing, processing and distribution of medical marijuana within the city’s corporate limits.
Medical marijuana has technically been legal in Ohio since House Bill 523 took effect last September, but regulations, policies, and licenses for its development, cultivation, and sale have yet to be established.
According to City Manager Tim Eggleston, the state’s rules for cultivators, researchers, retailers, and physicians are set to be adopted in September 2018.
On Aug. 1, 2016, council approved a 180-day moratorium on issuing permits for retail dispensaries, cultivators, and processors of medical marijuana. With that moratorium coming to an end this month, council took action to keep those businesses out of the city until regulations have been put in place by the state.
“It’s frustrating that we’re having to legislate something when we really don’t know what it is, but at the same time, I think the way in which the legislature chose to address this, by not putting it in statute and letting it play out through a rules-making process, has left cities and municipalities a bit vulnerable,” Councilwoman Carrie Arblaster said.
Eggleston noted that the ordinance could be easily amended once the state sets out guidelines for medical marijuana cultivators and retailers.
Council president Joe Gibson added that this ordinance would not prohibit residents whose doctors have recommended medical marijuana from using it legally at home.
In other business, council approved a contract for the renovation of restrooms in the Municipal Building, which would allow them to be used as public restrooms. Mayor Pat Hale thanked city staff for their work on getting that project started.
The contract, in the amount of $93,985, was awarded to Heyne Construction. Work could begin as early as next month and may be complete by this summer, according to the bid submitted by the contractor.
Council also voted to increase the city manager’s bi-weekly salary from $3,735 to $3,876 based on a satisfactory performance review. There were no other changes to his contract.
The city manager provided council with an update on the athletic stadium planning process. According to Eggleston, the school district has asked if city would be interested in participating in soil boring at City Park.
The $4,235 soil boring would be in addition to the $10,000 the city has contributed to the stadium study, Eggleston said. The boring will be performed whether or not the city agrees to contribute, he added.
He noted that the information provided by the soil boring would be useful in case of future development should the school district decide to move the stadium to another location.
“I don’t have any problem with doing it because it does give us the information for future development,” Councilman John Kessler said, adding that the cost of soil boring might go up in the future but the soil won’t change.
Council asked that the matter be discussed at an upcoming work session before taking action.
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