Marijuana growers taking an interest in Monroe

As the deadline nears to apply for a state license to operate a medical marijuana business, Monroe officials say they have received at least three inquiries about the city’s zoning regulations and that multiple building and land owners have received other inquiries as well.

Monroe does not have a marijuana moratorium, unlike other communities in the area because City Council wanted to see how the new rules would develop across the state, according to City Manager Bill Brock.

Brock said the inquiries Monroe received came from two representatives interested in building a small growing facility of up to 25,000 square-feet, and from a larger grower looking at a facility of up to 100,000 square-feet.

“We would consider it, but we’d need to get more information about the growing operation,” he said. “Once they figure out what kind of facility will be built, then we can figure out where they can locate. Everything we’ve been hearing has been for internal growing.”

Brock said on the license application forms, the state asks if a community has a moratorium or a zoning approval. However, Monroe does not approve zoning until a site plan has been submitted.

“There’s a limited number of licenses and they need the information to apply,” he said. “They’re scrambling to get their ducks in a row.”

Brock said the city’s zoning regulations permit uses for pharmaceutical, research and laboratory facilities in the industrial districts and growing in the agricultural and commercial districts. He said the three representatives sent the city a form to certify that the zoning would allow such a facility.

“We’ll study the state rules, how it affect the city, where it would go, and how it would affect our residents,” he said.

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