Warren County expects to OK permit for medical marijuana farm

Warren County expects to grant a permit for a medical marijuana farm in Harlan Twp.

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Warren County expects to grant a permit for a medical marijuana farm in Harlan Twp.

Warren County Zoning Supervisor Mike Yetter is expecting to issue a permit, perhaps this week, to grow marijuana for medical use in a rural township in the county.

The Ohio Department of Commerce can award up to 24 medical marijuana cultivator licenses “prior to” Sept.9, 2018, according to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

In June, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a measure that legalizes marijuana for use by patients with 21 conditions, such as cancer, traumatic brain injury or chronic pain. It allows medical marijuana edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing but not smoking or home growing.

The law gives state regulators two years to get the entire program up and running.

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During a discussion with the Warren County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Yetter said he typically issued permits for agricultural use of land “on the spot”.

The cultivator moving to begin growing in Warren County first looked at land in Turtlecreek Twp., but is now expected to set up on land in Harlan Twp., according to Bruce McGary, an assistant county prosecutor who advises the county administration.

McGary said he would review the application.

“It will be a quick process,” McGary said.

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Harlan Twp. is in the rural southeastern corner of the county.

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The representative for the cultivator, identified as Gary Hadley, could not be reached.

Cities and villages have legal authority to regulate medical marijuana cultivation, but townships and counties do not, McGary said during the discussion.

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McGary said he had discussed the issue with Harlan Twp.’s administrator, Andy Mitten, and that the trustees were unopposed by the cultivation.

“I guess if it was going to happen somewhere it was better for it to happen in a rural area,” McGary said.

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“They didn’t have any issue with it.”

Mitten could not be reached on Wednesday.

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Under county zoning, marijuana cultivation fits the category of agricultural use, McGary said.

This agricultural use is exempt from zoning regulation, he added.

“This will fit in the category as horticulture,” McGary said.“It’s coming.”

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