BRUNSWICK — City Council is considering allowing medical marijuana processing facilities in industrial areas but not dispensaries or cultivators.
One ordinance states processing facilities would be included as a conditionally permitted use in the I-L Light Industrial District, which includes Industrial Parkway.
Conditional use means that facilities that wish to process marijuana into a product would have to get approval from the city’s Planning Commission.
In a separate ordinance, Council is considering prohibiting cultivators and retail dispensaries in the city.
“The purpose is to limit the number of facilities in the city,” city Law Director Ken Fisher said. “It’s easier to police if there’s only a few.”
A year ago in June, Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523, which makes it legal for doctors to recommend medical marijuana use for patients with certain medical conditions.
Fisher said the law allows municipalities to limit where medical marijuana businesses can operate or to prohibit them completely.
More than 50 Ohio cities, including Wadsworth and Medina, have approved moratoriums on medical marijuana that vary from six months to two years. Brunswick Hills Township also approved a moratorium.
Last week, Medina Township trustees denied a medical marijuana dispensary to open in Plaza 71 on Medina Road.
Representatives from Stella’s Wellness Center proposed to donate 0.5 percent of gross revenue to the township, up to $50,000 in the first year. It could jump to $100,000 in the second year and $150,000 in the third.
It also planned to hire 12 to 14 employees in the first year.
Brunswick officials have said they denied cultivation of marijuana and retail dispensaries for security reasons, but settled on the processing facilities because there is an existing business on Industrial Parkway that processes nicotine and pain and herbal patches.
Processing facilities would take in the raw marijuana, process it into products such as a medical marijuana patch similar to a nicotine patch and ship the products to distributors.
Joe Bennett, managing partner of Brunswick-based Sextant Development, said in a previous Gazette story his business is hoping to add medical marijuana patches to its adhesive products.
A message left for Bennett seeking comment Monday was not immediately returned.
Police Chief Brian Ohlin said he has no concerns if a processing facility operated in the city.
“I think under adequate control by the state plan and oversight of the city, this will be different than if we had businesses with dispensaries and growing facilities in the city,” Ohlin said. “That would be a greater concern.”
The ordinances are scheduled to go through three readings. If approved by Council, they would go into effect 30 days after the final reading.
Council’s next regular meeting is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at city hall, 4095 Center Road.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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