Several Carlisle residents say they oppose village council rescinding a temporary ban on medical marijuana businesses because it would be harmful to the community and reduce property values.
Ohio Craft Cultivators LLC, a company with a state application pending for a medical marijuana cultivation license, is asking Carlisle to further rollback its temporary ban to permit marijuana processing.
Anthony DiLorenzo of Ohio Craft Cultivators LLC told village council Tuesday that the company would like to apply for a processing license, which would require council rollback of its the moratorium further.
The proposed processing building would be on the same site as the proposed cultivation building in the Carlisle Business Park and would also have about 20 employees, according to DiLorenzo.
During his presentation, DiLorenzo, a Fairfield native, went over the processing process as well as giving an overview of the security of both facilities which he said was “safer than a bank” because unlike a bank, no one can get into the facility because of the limited access. He said the building would like any other industrial looking building.
“We have no intention of going into distribution,” DiLorenzo said. “It’s something we’re not interested in.”
However, the residents were not convinced.
Pastor Jeff Foster of Carlisle Community Church said he was “deeply concerned” about a medical marijuana business locating in the village.
“I don’t think we’re prepared for possible problems,” he said.
Foster pointed out that during prohibition, people could still get prescriptions for medicinal whiskey. He asked council why other area communities have imposed medical marijuana moratoriums and asked what the difference were between those communities and Carlisle.
“It’s a concern,” Foster said.
Another resident, Larry Lambes questioned the legalization as well as how helpful medical marijuana is to patients.
Lambes said he was against the proposal and said he would look into a referendum to place before voters.
Another resident, Don Trusty, told council said he did not want to hinder anything that would tarnish the community and worries that a medical marijuana facility would only hurt property values and increase the drug problem.
Trusty said if he has a home valued at $160,000 and that value goes down to $100,000, can he come back to council and ask for his lost $60,000 because of the marijuana facilities.
“Why can’t we vote on this?” Trusty asked. “I don’t want Carlisle to be known by this.”
After the meeting, DiLorenzo said he was glad people came out to express their views at the meeting. “I think it’s important for people to be involved with local government,” he said.
Last June, council approved rescinded a portion of its temporary moratorium on marijuana cultivation and processing businesses to allow cultivation as well as selling 10 acres in the village-owned Carlisle Business Park if Ohio Craft Cultivators LLC could obtain a state license.
Village Manager Julie Duffy said the company told council they were interested in operating a processing facility but the state had not published the rules yet.
The proposed investment at the Carlisle Business Park to build the cultivation facility’s first phase will be between $4 million and $5 million and could create between 20 and 25 jobs. The village sold the land for $45,000 an acre and proceeds will go to pay off the debt for infrastructure improvements at the business park six years ahead of schedule.
She said the rules for processing were released in September and anticipates the state will open the application period for processing facilities in November. Duffy said the state is expected to issue licenses for the cultivation facilities next month.