Brunswick might allow medical marijuana processing facilities in the city based on a Planning and Zoning Committee discussion.
Committee Chair and At-large Councilman Brian Ousley said last week the committee agreed to have marijuana processors in industrial areas, including Industrial Parkway, with conditional use.
Conditional use means that any facilities that wish to process marijuana into a product will have to get approval from the city’s Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission “can put in its input and it allows public input as well through public comment periods” at the commission’s meetings, Ousley said.
On June 8, Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523 into law 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 Wadsworth and Medina, have approved moratoriums on medical marijuana that vary from six months to two years. Brunswick Hills Township also approved a moratorium.
“Our committee said no moratorium because there was no sense of having a knee-jerk reaction to what other cities were doing,” Ousley said. “We wanted to wait and see how things played out with the state.”
According to a timeline on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website, the Ohio Department of Commerce has until May 6 to adopt cultivator rules, and Sept. 8 to adopt processor and dispensary rules.
Ousley said the committee denied cultivation of marijuana and retail dispensaries for security reasons.
“There is no way we could have dispensaries in our town,” Ousley said. “Our community wouldn’t support something like that.”
After extensive discussion, he said the committee settled on the processing facilities because there is an existing business on Industrial Parkway that processes nicotine, pain and herbal patches.
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.
Bennett could not be reached for comment Monday.
Following the committee’s discussion, Ousley said the Law Department will create a draft of legislation about the processors that will come back to the committee before sending it to Council for its review.
He anticipates the committee will review the draft at its May meeting.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.