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Wadsworth passes medical marijuana moratorium

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Wadsworth City Council has decided to take a year to research how other cities are handling permits and licenses for medical marijuana-related businesses.

Council unanimously passed a moratorium on medical marijuana that runs through Nov. 15 next year. Ward 2 Councilman Bob Titus sponsored the legislation.

House Bill 523 was signed into law June 8 by Gov. John Kasich and it became effective Sept. 8. Ohio became the 25th state to approve the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

More than 50 Ohio cities, including Brunswick and Medina, have approved moratoriums that vary in length from six months to two years. Brunswick Hills also recently approved a moratorium.

Wadsworth Law Director Norman Brague said he doesn’t anticipate a surge of interested parties applying for permits because of the city’s population.

“It would be more likely to happen with places with a larger population,” he said, naming Akron as an example.

“I’m not sure it’s necessary to have moratoriums,” he added.

Wadsworth Service Director Robert Patrick said the practice of issuing permits would be affected by the city not having current planning or zoning codes in place.

Ohio’s new law makes it legal for doctors to recommend medical marijuana use for patients with various medical conditions. The law also allows cities to limit where medical marijuana businesses can locate and to prohibit them completely.

The new law requires the Ohio’s medical marijuana program to be up and running by September 2018.

Contact reporter Ashley Fox at (330) 721-4048 or afox@medina-gazette.com.



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