Moratorium for marijuana cultivation, processing opposed

By Danielle Coots - For the Gazette

BEAVERCREEK — A proposal to put a moratorium in place for marijuana cultivation and processing was opposed during this week’s city council, paving the way for the state to make decisions in the coming months.

Mayor Bob Stone added a resolution to discuss this topic during this week’s city council meeting. This was to allow council to discuss the possibility of putting this issue on hold until more information could be collected from the residents and other municipalities, reviewing zoning issues, and current policies since council doesn’t reconvene until next year. But, the majority of the council didn’t share his concerns or feel the need for such measures. The proposal was to put the issue at bay for an additional six months.

“I don’t understand why we need another moratorium at this time,” Beavercreek Council Member Zack Upton said. “Nothing materially has changed.”

In the coming months, council has to make decisions to either allow or prohibit cultivation and processing facilities within the limits of the City of Beavercreek. In doing so, the goal of the council, whether for or against, is to consider public peace, health, safety and welfare of the community.

“I think putting a moratorium in place now is a good idea,” Vice Mayor Julie Vann said. “I think there are a lot of hidden factors and this would allow us to think through it all and research it more and hear what other states are saying. I feel it would help safeguard us.”

Since the Ohio legislature has legalized medical marijuana in this state, the City of Beavercreek has been divided on the issue, including city council. In the early months of the passing of the legislation, city council imposed a moratorium to allow more time to research the topic and consult with other localities that permit medical marijuana. At the end of that moratorium, this past June, it was extended. Mayor Stone proposed another extension.

In addition to Upton, others were also in agreement that a moratorium was not needed.

“The State is still unsure of their decisions. We are kicking a can down the road when it’s not needed,” Council Member Melissa Litteral said.

“We still don’t know how the state is going to decide. Let’s wait to decide and sit back and watch what happens,” Council Member Brian Jarvis said.

The city has already received a number of applications for companies wishing to open dispensaries in the area. The deadline for additional applications has expired. The issue here is only on cultivating and process centers.

The vote on council was split with the majority opposing the request.

For more information regarding this issue, an informational meeting will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 in the Beavercreek City Chambers office. Council members will be available to hear the public’s opinions, thoughts and listen to comments during this time.

By Danielle Coots

For the Gazette

Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.

Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.