Jefferson City eyes regulating health-related marijuana facilities


Jefferson City is pursuing strategies to regulate health-related marijuana facilities, such as proposing a needed buffer involving these facilities and some schools, churches and kid care centers.

The Jefferson City Preparing and Zoning Commission unanimously suggested approval of a proposed amendment to the zoning code that outlines some health-related marijuana facility regulations. The Jefferson City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed zoning code amendment May perhaps 20.

In November, Missouri voters authorized Constitutional Amendment two, which legalized making use of marijuana for distinct health-related circumstances.

The Missouri Constitution splits health-related marijuana facilities into 4 categories:

• Health-related marijuana cultivation facility — a facility that farms, retailers, transports and sells health-related marijuana.

• Health-related marijuana testing facility — a facility that acquires, tests, certifies and transports health-related marijuana.

• Health-related marijuana-infused goods manufacturing facility — a facility that specializes in marijuana-infused goods.

• Health-related marijuana dispensary facility — a health-related marijuana retail establishment.

The proposed code refers only to health-related marijuana cultivation and testing facilities, as effectively as health-related marijuana-infused goods manufacturing facilities. City employees plans to propose a separate ordinance for health-related marijuana dispensary facilities in a couple of months, City Planner 1 Ahnna Nanoski mentioned Thursday.

“We are deciding on to do this in this phased strategy to incorporate these brand new legal makes use of into our codes gradually,” Nanoski mentioned.

Beneath the proposed amendment, health-related marijuana testing, health-related marijuana cultivation and health-related marijuana-infused goods manufacturing facilities would not be permitted inside 1,000 feet of then-current elementary and secondary schools, kid care centers or churches.

This aligns with a recommendation by the Missouri Division of Well being and Senior Solutions — tasked with the regulation, licensing and certification of health-related marijuana facilities, Nanoski mentioned.

Commissioner Blake Markus questioned whether or not the 1,000-foot buffer would produce any legal difficulties, adding the amendment states it is unconstitutional if a city creates regulations that disallow health-related marijuana facilities inside city limits.

Even though there are various regions exactly where these health-related marijuana facilities would not be permitted beneath the proposed amendment, City Preparing Manager Eric Barron mentioned, “there’s a fair portion of industrial zoning that is left that would be capable to accommodate this use.”

“I consider it passes that test in terms of there nevertheless becoming ample chance to find such facility,” he added.

The city does have the capability to enact a reduce separation requirement, Barron added.

Joy Sweeney, executive director of the Jefferson City-primarily based Council for Drug No cost Youth, told commissioners she would oppose lowering the separation requirement.

“One of the points we are concerned with is there are locations and cities that are decreasing the 1,000-foot requirement,” she mentioned. “I seriously hope that Jefferson City is not 1 of these since that would absolutely be detrimental to our city.”

Due to the fact the proposed amendment does not consist of a measurement strategy, Markus mentioned, he also worried about making legal difficulties. Following Markus expressed that concern, the commission suggested approval of the code amendment only if city employees align the strategy of measuring the 1,000-foot separation with Division of Well being and Senior Services’ guidelines.

Health-related marijuana cultivation and testing facilities, as effectively as health-related marijuana-infused goods manufacturing facilities, would only be permitted in M-1 Light Industrial and M-two Common Industrial districts, beneath the proposed amendment.

Commissioner Jack Deeken questioned whether or not there would be a legal challenge by restricting the cultivation health-related marijuana facilities to industrial makes use of, comparing the facilities to greenhouses.

“I fully grasp maintaining it exactly where you want to hold it, but I just query if cultivating — you are placing it in a pot with soil and that is seriously no distinctive than developing pansies,” he mentioned. “It’s an agricultural procedure. You are making use of botany, plant physiology, no matter how you are developing it — you are developing a plant.”

Greenhouses are permitted in the C-two Common Industrial and M-1 Light Industrial zoning districts, Barron mentioned. Nonetheless, he added, the strategy in which health-related marijuana is grown is “more industrial.”

“I think that it is largely artificial light that is developing marijuana extra so than a greenhouse, so I consider if you toured a facility, you would in all probability see it as becoming extra industrial in nature than agricultural,” he mentioned. “It’s not a flower shop.”

Any health-related marijuana facilities licensed by DHSS will have to also comply with state specifications, regulations and procedures vital for implementation and enforcement, the amendment states.

DHSS started accepting pre-filed application costs Jan. five. It has received 471 pre-filed application types — and a total of extra than $three.three million — as of March 28, according to its internet site.

DHSS will not finalize the regulations for the health-related marijuana plan till June four. “Any preliminary efforts becoming carried out, such as background investigations, will not be accepted,” its internet site states.

DHSS also will not accept patient identification card applications till July four. If a person receives any doctor certifications for health-related marijuana, the certifications can’t be extra than 30 days old at the time the particular person applies for a patient identification card, the internet site states.

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