The use of recreational marijuana and its sale is still a contentious issue after voters approved it in the November election. Some municipalities are trying to make their own rules and regulations surrounding the drug ahead of the state’s rules expected this year.
The proposed ordinance expands upon a 2017 ordinance which took the same steps when medical marijuana was legalized in the state of Ohio. It’s listed as an emergency, which expedites its priority.
“We are taking a law that was passed back in 2017 which was related to medical marijuana and how it would be distributed when the state made their rules and the fact we weren’t going to encourage cultivation,” said Ike Stage, Grove City Mayor. “What we’re saying until the rules get put out from the state of Ohio, we’re putting a moratorium on it. We don’t want anything done here locally until we know what the state is going to do.”
This ordinance primarily affects businesses interested in the cultivation and dispensing of recreational marijuana. It is being reworded to cover all marijuana, not just medical as it was in 2017. Stage said this doesn’t affect the individual rules outlined in Issue 2.
Marijuana is a new venture for all of us, so we’re just saying ‘hey, we’re waiting for the state to give us the guidance we need,’” said Stage.
Rules surrounding the licensure and sale of recreational marijuana are coming down from the Division of Cannabis Control under the Ohio Department of Commerce.
“Who’s going to get some of the tax revenue, how many dispensaries are going to be legalized, can you smoke openly, there’s a whole list of things that need to be cleared up,” said Stage.
Across the street from city hall is a barbershop. The topic of recreational marijuana has come up in the usual barbershop conversation.
“Most of this community is pretty positive about the legalization of marijuana,” said barber Jay Terry. “Some of the people I didn’t expect to be behind it, seemed to be along with the notion that it’s about time.”
He hears it all. He said a lot of his patrons are in support of it, but some have questions.
“Lots of questions about would they be able to conceal carry with it, would they be able to smoke it outside. There seem to be a lot of questions about that,” he said.
Council now believes they have to look at medical marijuana and see if that’s worth changing the policy as well.