After the smoke cleared after a recent Grove City Council work session, council members were left with more questions concerning the implementation of the new medical marijuana law for the community.
“There are many challenges to this whole thing,” said City Manager Bill Keefer during the Aug. 22 meeting.
State Question 788 which legalized medical marijuana passed statewide, but Delaware County voters opposed the measure 4,724 to 4,628 votes.
The work session which lasted over an hour heard discussions on the proposed ordinances for medical marijuana and alcoholic beverages.
The four-page medical marijuana and the 11-page alcoholic beverage ordinances are expected to undergo tweaking of some language and will be presented at the Sept. 4 city council meeting.
Also on the agenda are two measures which would allow the council to approve passing the ordinances with an emergency clause provision, which means both ordinances would be approved immediately - without a public notice time period or printing of the ordinance as a legal notice in the newspaper.
Gary Bates, a Grove resident, encourage the city leaders “to come together and put our heads together” when discussing the medical marijuana ordinance.
Smoking marijuana is prohibited on all city property, Keefer said.
The newly passed state law prohibits the city from discriminating again an employee who holds a marijuana license.
A growing facility for personal medical use will be allowed only on a personal residence.
The proposed ordinance also prohibits medical marijuana in city vehicles, building, parks and other facilities and the penalty for breaking the ordinance is a $500 fine.
The city will charge $600 as a Medical Marijuana license fee per year. Individuals running a Medical Marijuana Growth Facility for personal use must obtain a registration permit for $5.
“Felons cannot get a license,” Keefer said.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries are only allowed within a C-3 Commercial and Commercial Recreation Zoned District and prohibited within 1,000 feet of a school, library, child care center, church, public park, playground, city pool, half-way house, correctional facility or substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment center.
No standalone dispensaries are allowed, and dispensaries also prohibited from being close to another marijuana dispensary, said Debbie Bottoroff, assistant city manager, after the meeting.
A Medical Marijuana Grower and Processor are prohibited from locating within in the city limits and a building used to store marijuana must be equipped with a ventilation or air filtration systems so that no odors are detectable off premises.
The dispensary will be closed on Sundays, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The proposed changes to the existing policy affect Wolf Creek Park, the Civic Center and the Grove Pool, Keefer said.
Les Goodman, with Les’s Liquor and Wine expressed his frustration with several points of the ordinance in particular the licensing fee.
“We don’t have a problem in Grove with teenagers drinking,” Goodman told the council members.
The proposed licensing fee will be discussed during Tuesday’s meeting.
The proposed ordinance calls for a $600 annual occupational tax on businesses related to alcoholic beverages, jump from $50.
Oklahoma winemakers stayed the same at $50 and exempt organizations increased to $500.
The new hours for on premises consumption are from Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. The hours for selling wine and beer for off premise consumption at retail stores is Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Employees must be 21-years or older to sell in a retail Package Store, 18 years or older for selling in a retail store.
The penalty was set at $500, a downward departure from $750. The certificate of compliance is a $100 fee.
A $100 alcohol fee was added to the Civic Center policy and prohibit alcoholic beverages from the Grove Pool policy.