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Government & Politics

Akron May Be Ohio's First Ohio City to Adopt Rules For Medical Marijuana Businesses

Medical marijuana study
BROOKINGS INSTITUTION

Akron City Council will discuss this afternoon proposed rules that would govern medical marijuana businesses in the city.

Beginning September of 2018, Ohio law will allow the cultivation and selling of marijuana in certain forms to treat about two dozen chronic health conditions. But the law allows communities to authorize specific operations and under what rules.

Mayor Dan Horrigan’s spokeswoman, Ellen Lander-Nischt, the city earlier adopted a one-year moratorium on marijuana sales so it could develop a framework. 

 

“So having taken several months to study the Ohio law and make some decisions about how we wanted to regulate it locally, we’ve come in with an ordinance that would add additional zoning regulations on where these facilities could locate in the city as well as a licensing scheme.

 

Akron’s planning commission has recommended zoning rules that include barring the marijuana businesses within 500 feet of schools, parks and libraries. A proposed city map shows the marijuana operations would be concentrated primarily on the city’s east side, from the Akron Fulton Airport up toward Chapel Hill.

The state law requires all of the marijuana growing operations be indoors and the Akron ordinance would allow the city to block facilities that have a strong odor of cannabis. 

Many other Ohio communities have at least temporarily banned the operations altogether, though Painesville is considering a 5-acre cultivation facility cultivation facility.