Carlisle planning total ban on medical marijuana businesses

After imposing moratoriums for various lengths of time since 2017, Carlisle City Council has determined it will enact a total ban of medical marijuana businesses in the next few months.

Acting City Manager Ryan Rushing said the current one-year moratorium ends on May 24 and looked for guidance from council for next steps.

The state has increased the number of permits available for medical marijuana retail dispensaries, processors and cultivators in Warren County and in southwest Ohio. However, a number of communities have banned any such businesses or placed a cap on the current number of licenses already awarded in various communities, such as Lebanon.

Rushing told council that there were few locations for a medical marijuana business to be established in Carlisle without violating the city zoning code or state law. One location could be an existing building on Industry Drive, while the other would be at the end of the Carlisle Business Park off Ohio 123.

According to state law, medical marijuana businesses must be 500 feet from the boundaries (lot lines) of a parcel of real estate containing a school, church, public library, public playground or a community addiction services provider. Carlisle does not allow businesses to operate near residential areas.

Most council members expressed support for a permanent ban due to a lack of locations to site a medical marijuana business.

Councilman Chris Stivers said he was not against them, but he’s “not for them without a financial benefit to the city.”

Legislation is being prepared so that the permanent ban will take effect when the current moratorium ends on May 24.

Rushing said council in 2017 entertained an offer from a cultivator contingent on obtaining a state license. However, the developer did not receive a license in the initial round, which terminated Ohio Craft Cultivators LLC’s offer to purchase 10-acres of land in the city-owned business park.

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