Trustees voted in favor of temporarily banning medical marijuana businesses from operating in Sylvania Township at a meeting Tuesday evening.
The legislation, approved 3-0, “prohibits the cultivation, processing or retail dispensing of medical marijuana in Sylvania Township” for the next calendar year.
The moratorium will give the board an appropriate amount of time to evaluate whether or not they want to permit marijuana dispensaries, officials said.
“We know this is an important issue to our community,” Trustee John Jennewine said. “I think we all have our reservations and there is no better substitute than watching other [dispensaries] open in other communities and then determine how to move forward.”
House Bill 523 went into effect in September, 2016, but gave the state two years to set up the medical pot industry. Ohio's law allows cities, villages, and townships to restrict the number of marijuana businesses that can operate within their limits — or ban them altogether.
Sylvania Township’s new measure comes as a business is attempting to open a a dispensary there. State records show KDJOH, LLC has applied to set up shop at 5820 W. Central Ave.
Attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful Tuesday. Its application is among 370 submitted to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy by entities seeking to operate medical pot retail outlets in Ohio, including 18 sent by organizations seeking to operate in Lucas County.
State officials plan to intiially approve at most 57 applications, and possibly fewer if applications don’t meet minimum scores. Lucas County is slated to get two medical marijuana shops.
Several community members at the Sylvania Township meeting Tuesday expressed concerns about allowing medical marijuana into the township.
Bill Geha, the intervention and prevention services coordinator for Sylvania schools, said he has seen marijuana serve as a gateway drug to opioids.
Despite voting in favor of the 12 month ban, Trustee John Crandall suggested implementing a longer moratorium, or even a permanent ban.
During a presentation, Thomas Gibbons, director of the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission, spoke about benefits of medicinal dispensaries.
“This helps veterans with PTSD who don’t want to use opioids,” he said.
Mr. Gibbons added he visited a marijuana dispensary in Michigan and assured the board that such facilities are above board and “extremely professional.”
“They are just like a pharmacy,” he said.
Sylvania Township joined dozens of communities across the state — including several in northwest Ohio — that have temporarily banned medicinal marijuana.
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