Commission OKs new medical marijuana dispensary issue


Proposed ordinance to allow three medical marijuana dispensaries only in the Highway Business District

By Melanie Yingst - myingst@civitasmedia.com



TROY — The Troy Planning Commission voted to recommend to city council a citywide ban on cultivators and processors of medical marijuana and allow a maximum of three medical marijuana retail dispensaries in the B-4 Highway Service Business District only on Wednesday.

Commission member Tom Force was not present at the meeting.

On Nov. 21, Troy City Council failed to pass its complete ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, sending the ordinance back to the Troy Planning Commission for review.

“One of the things I feel that came out of the meetings is that Planning Commission feels that zero (dispensaries) is too few and city council feels five is too many,” said Planning and Zoning Manager Tim Davis. Davis shared information he obtained at a planning conference last week regarding medical marijuana and its affect on municipalities.

Commission member Larry Wolke asked Davis if he had received any feedback from any potential pharmacies that may dispense medical marijuana. Davis said he had not, but learned at the conference many “big box” retail pharmacies will likely not dispense medical marijuana due to conflicting federal and state regulations.

Mayor Michael Beamish noted the ban of processing and cultivation of medical marijuana. “It’s always been about the number of dispensaries,” Beamish said.

Commission voted not to hold a public hearing on the issue at this time.

Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington noted that he observed council members reduce the number of zoning districts from three to one to keep medical marijuana away from neighborhoods and the downtown area. “It really segregates it, but still allows some limited dispensing,” Titterington said.

Wolke called the issue “an academic exercise.”

“I would dig in my heels a little harder, but in this case I’ll go along with the recommendation of staff,” Wolke said.

Council voted to extended the moratorium on medical marijuana on Nov. 7. The second 180-day moratorium will expire July 13, 2017.

Planning Commission’s previous recommendation was to allow up to five medical marijuana dispensaries to be located within city limits, with the exception of downtown Troy and where it violated zoning codes such as proximity to schools and churches.

Council member John Schweser modified the proposal to limit three dispensaries to be located in the business district. Brock Heath later modified that proposal to revert back to a complete ban of dispensaries. Council failed to pass the ban with a super majority vote.

Proposed ordinance to allow three medical marijuana dispensaries only in the Highway Business District

By Melanie Yingst

myingst@civitasmedia.com

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews