MITCHELL — Three medical marijuana dispensaries in need of variances to open their businesses are in limbo after the Mitchell City Council tabled all variance requests on Tuesday to revisit the city’s zoning codes.
While three groups of medical marijuana entrepreneurs were anticipating a decision from the council on whether their variances receive approval, City Attorney Justin Johnson recommended the council table all of the variance requests to provide the city with time to change the zoning codes for medical marijuana establishments. With the council’s decision to heed Johnson’s recommendation, it halts three dispensaries from opening in Mitchell until March or April, if approved.
Johnson said the city’s zoning codes for medical cannabis dispensaries have shown several areas that create “absurd” and “unintended” results. In particular, Johnson highlighted how right-of-ways are factored into the city’s medical marijuana zoning codes as an example of an area that needs to be revisited.
“One application you have here tonight (Native Nations Cannabis) would run a considerable distance from Mitchell Technical College campus, but nearly all of it is within Interstate 90,” Johnson said. “That is just one example of how the strict interpretation of that language can lead to some absurd and unintended results.”
The city’s zoning