MARYVILLE, Mo. — The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a provision that would allow medical marijuana facilities in only certain zoned areas of the city without a special use permit, and not within 100 feet of schools, churches or day cares.
Under Amendment 2, passed by Missouri voters last November, the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana can’t be stopped or significantly hindered by municipalities. But some regulations, like zoning ordinances, are allowed, giving some measure of control to cities in where and how the marijuana can be distributed.
In coming up with their own regulations, City Manager Greg McDanel said that city staff looked at what other cities across the state have elected to do.
Amendment 2 divides medical marijuana facilities into four classifications: dispensaries, where medical marijuana is dispensed directly to patients; cultivation facilities, where the marijuana is grown; manufacturing facilities, where marijuana-infused products like edibles are made; and testing facilities.
The ordinance approved Monday will zone dispensaries into business districts, and all others into light industrial zones.
In addition, dispensaries may not be open between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., although council members said that the rule could be — and likely would be — revisited in the future should the need arise.
Amendment 2 only allows for people with identification cards who have been approved by the state Department of Health and Senior Services and who have a prescription from a doctor to purchase or cultivate marijuana.
Although the amendment allowed cities to keep facilities up to 1,000 feet from schools, churches and day cares, McDanel said that city staff opted for the lower number purely to match the same local rule for liquor — 100 feet. Had the 1,000-foot buffer zone been implemented, McDanel said, there would have been very few places within city limits that were both inside the eligible zones and not within 1,000 feet of a church, school or day care. That would have been viewed as an attempt to circumvent the law, and also could have forced any facilities to operate outside city limits — subjecting them to no city regulations and no municipal sales taxes.
Currently, there’s only one pre-application listed by the DHSS for a facility in Nodaway County, a cultivation facility proposed by Jay Forney of Maryville that would be operated in Hopkins.
Applicants go through a blind scoring process by DHSS, which will judge proposals based on a number of factors including security, economic impact and odor control. That process will begin in August. The applications for cultivation facilities also require a $10,000 fee, making them expensive propositions.
Although they did not file a pre-application with DHSS, the owners of The Pure Natural Depot, Josh and Bridget Wilson, said at Monday night’s council meeting that they intend to open a dispensary, manufacturing and growing facility in the future. Their business sells dietary supplements along with CBD oil and hemp products.
Josh Wilson said the couple decided to open The Pure Natural Depot at 24722 Business Highway 71 — which is outside city limits — to avoid the hassle of city zoning ordinances.