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Brunswick councll considers processing facilities for medical marijuana

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BRUNSWICK — Medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators are prohibited in the city, but processing facilities may be welcome in industrial areas.

City Council approved two ordinances this week — one that bans dispensaries and cultivators, and the second adds medical marijuana processing facilities as a conditionally permitted use in the 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.

Council held two readings of the ordinances in August/September before forwarding them to the Planning Commission. In October, the commission approved banning dispensaries and cultivators, and allowing processing facilities in the industrial zoning district.

The measures then came back to Council for a third and final reading Monday night.

In June 2016, Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523, which makes it legal for doctors to recommend medical marijuana use for patients with certain conditions.

“The state Legislature allows local communities to determine whether or not medical marijuana cultivation, processing or retail dispensaries are allowed in their communities,” city Law Director Ken Fisher said Wednesday.

“Pursuant to that direction from the Legislature, Brunswick prohibited, per the ordinances, cultivation and dispensing anywhere in the city. However, processing is allowed as a conditional use, but only in the industrial district.”

Fisher said there were no questions or concerns from the public Monday night regarding the ordinances.

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, pain and herbal patches.

Processing facilities would take in 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, has said his business is hoping to add medical marijuana patches to its adhesive products.

Several messages left for Bennett seeking comment this week were not returned.

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 has approved a moratorium.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.



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