Liberty Twp. temporarily bans medical marijuana

  • Denise G. Callahan
  • Staff Writer
10:58 p.m Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 Local News

After months of talks, Liberty Twp. trustees have enacted a one-year moratorium — or temporary ban — on medical marijuana businesses.

With full implementation of the new state law two years off and rules governing the retail sale, cultivation and processing of the pot not yet written, trustees said they wanted to proceed with caution to see how the law would impact local communities..

“We need to do something now, we don’t want to be sitting ducks…,” Trustee Christine Matacic previously told the Journal-News. “We need to take the steps now so that we don’t get caught blindsided, where somebody says, ‘hey they’re not doing anything, let’s go in there and get something established that we can apply to get our licensing for’.”

The trustees could have either issued the moratorium or outright banned marijuana in its zoning code, which would have taken three or four months.

After a failed attempt at legalizing marijuana both for recreational and medical use, the state legislature and Gov. John Kasich signed into law a measure that will allow it only for medicinal purposes. Rules for the program are still being developed and won’t be fully implemented until September 2018.

Ross Twp. also recently enacted a one-year moratorium and other jurisdictions are considering following suit. The city of Hamilton banned the sale of medical marijuana outright a year ago.

Liberty Twp. trustee Steve Schramm told the Journal-News last month that he doesn’t want to completely shun the new types of businesses, but more information is needed from the state before officials can take any permanent action.

“I’ve been for a moratorium all along, until we have enough information to make up a truly informed decision,” he previously said. “I think it would almost be a knee jerk reaction and fear of the unknown to change the code at this point.”

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