Liberty Twp. and medical pot: Where the 3 trustees stand

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Liberty Twp. and medical pot: Where the 3 trustees stand

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A harvester examines marijuana buds from a trimming machine near Corvallis, Oregon. Researchers complain the government marijuana consists of leaves and unsmokable stems. ANDREW SELSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Citing uncertainty about the state’s rules regarding medical marijuana, Liberty Twp. trustees have extended a moratorium for another six months.

The year-long ban they instituted last September is set to expire, so trustees issued a new ending date of March 8. The state’s rule are set to come out next month and the cultivation, processing and retail establishments can open for business in September 2018.

The trustees at this point say it’s a little early to voice their opinions on what the township should do, but they do have their own thoughts on the subject.

Trustee Steve Schramm

Allowing some or all of the medical marijuana businesses might be good in terms of tax revenue, he said

“I would have no problem with either testing facilities or processing facilities, I’m not sure I would really even have a major problem with retail facilities, if it’s all just medical marijuana,” Schramm said. “It’s a different plant and I think a lot of people don’t understand the medical marijuana plant is a different plant than a recreational plant, so there’s all kinds of ways to police the process.”

Trustee Board President Christine Matacic

Matacic, who got the ball rolling on the moratorium last year, told the Journal-News there is so much about the issue that is uncertain until the rules are revealed. She said until they can read and evaluate the regulations she won’t know if it is good or bad for the township.

At this point however, she said she is leaning on the side of caution.

“I would tend to say either we’re going to restrict them extremely tightly or we’re going to be banning them,” she said. “It’s one of those two.”

Trustee Tom Farrell

Until he sees the state’s rules, Farrell said he can’t decide what is best for the township. He said really the only business they have to be concerned about is the retail outfits, since land in Liberty is probably too expensive for a grow operation to be profitable.

“We have to do what’s right for the residents of Liberty Twp. and what they want,” Farrell said. “If they are in need of these types of businesses then we need to make sure we allow them to come here, but we can’t allow them to come here until we know the rules and regulations that support them.”

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