Seven Speak At Marijuana Zoning Public Hearing
The Sullivan Planning and Zoning Commission hosted a public hearing on Tuesday, June 25, at 6 p.m. in the council chambers regarding proposed recommendations for zoning on Medical Marijuana facilities that will open as part of Medical Marijuana Amendment 2 that passed in November 2018.
The Medical Marijuana legislation is moving the program forward with operations to begin in the near future.
This past week physicians began receiving calls regarding patients seeking prescriptions for the drug and applications for facilities are being filed with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services that include in Franklin County 14 applications for growing operations, six for manufacturing infused products and two for dispensaries. In Crawford County and Washington County there have been no applications filed at this time.
The commission and city staff have been addressing the matter over the last several weeks with the recommendations being made to fulfill the requirements to allow for Medical Marijuana facilities while at the same time offer a buffer zone for schools, churches, and day care facilities current Sullivan proposal call for 1,000 ft..
The current recommendations that were presented to the public on Tuesday night June 25 were::
1. Allow Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities to be within the M-1 zoning district with a conditional use permit. Permissible Use Table 25.000 Commercial greenhouse and horticultural operations, new use #25.300;
2. Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facilities to be within the C-4 zoning district with a conditional use permit. Permissiable Use Table 2.000 Sales and rental of goods, merchandise and equipment. New use #2.300;
3. Allow Medical Marijuana-Infused Products Manufacturing Facilities to be within the M-1 zoning district with a conditional use permit. Permissible Use Table 4.000 Manufacturing, processing, creating, repairing, renovating, painting, cleaning, assembling of goods, merchandise and equipment. New use # 4.300;
4. Allow Medical Marijuana Testing Facilities to be located within the M-1 zoned district with a conditional use permit. Permissible Use Table 4.000 Manufacturing, processing, creating, repairing, renovating, painting, cleaning, assembling of goods, merchandise and equipment. New use #4.400;
5. Allow the 1,000 ft. buffer from an existing elementary or secondary school, child day-care center or a church.
Seven guests spoke before the Planning and Zoning Commission that included: Nikki Alexander, 121 North Clark St.; Daniel Jones, an alderman from Rolla; Pastor Scott Perry, Temple Baptist Church; Stefan Wehmeyer, Lifehouse Youth Center/Grace City Church; Courtney Hollis, Highway AF; Scott Micke,104 West Main and Alana Ryan, 107 Pine Street.
Alexander spoke on the benefits of medical marijuana and the firsthand accounts she has observed in the product help getting adults off opiates and encouraged the dispensaries to be allowed to locate in less distance then what the commission is proposing.
Daniel Jones also spoke about the zoning of 1,000 foot being proposed and benefits this product has over opiates. He also felt that pharmacy’s sell very dangerous drugs and are not required to be this far from a school, church or day care facility.
Pastor Scott Perry stated that he was in attendance not to debate the cannabis issue as it has already been voted to be legal for medical purposes in Missouri, but to encourage the commission and council to use caution and their valid opinions. Perry said would like to see the facilities be placed at the maximum distance from a church, school or day care facility.
Micke also voiced his support for the setback to be less than proposed stating that bars and nightclubs have a 300 foot setback from a church, school or day-care and pharmacies have a zero setback so he felt that the marijuana facility should been considered in the same as alcohol or pharmacy standards.
Micke also presented a petition signed by several downtown business owners in support of his proposed setback requirement.
The commission wrapped up the public hearing in little more than an hour with a full council chamber of guests attending the event.
The matter is expected to be sent to the Sullivan City Council for a formal decision soon.