McCandless officials take stance on medical marijuana dispensaries – Tribune-Review

Updated 6 hours ago

McCandless officials have decided against taking quick action to add additional restrictions to the state law that allows medical marijuana processing plants and dispensaries from setting up shop in the municipality.

While municipalities cannot prohibit such operations, officials can legally limit the businesses to specific zoning districts, restrict hours of operation and require they meet any number of conditions as long as the rules are not so restrictive that they prevent a business from operating.

Members of the town’s zoning and finance committee last week considered whether to prepare a resolution containing additional restrictions to the state law that could be put up for a vote by the end of the month to prevent a “race to the zoning office” by potential operators, said Gavin Robb, the town’s attorney.

If such a resolution were approved, the additional regulations would kick in immediately. Revisions, however, could be made in the final draft of the measure, which would have to go through the planning commission process. Ordinances also must be presented at a public hearing and be approved by a majority of town council.

As it stands, because McCandless has no restrictions on the books regarding medical marijuana facilities, a business seeking to operate in the town would only have to meet the guidelines established by the state.

State law currently prohibits medical marijuana processing plants and dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of the property line of any school or day-care facility.

A draft measure prepared for the zoning committee would limit dispensaries to commercial districts and add churches and parks to the 1,000-foot rule — a move similar to the law enacted in Ross last year.

Ross’ ordinance only allows dispensaries in the commercial zoning district that covers the McKnight Road corridor, portions of Nelson Run

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