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Hudson City Council approves moratorium on marijuana

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: September 11, 2016 12:04 AM
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Hudson -- Council Sept. 6 unanimously approved a moratorium on marijuana business activity for the next six months.

The moratorium is on the applications for and the granting of zoning certificates for any building, structure, use or change of use that would enable the cultivation, processing, distribution or sale of medical marijuana for up to six months in Hudson.

The moratorium would allow the city to review state and local laws and plan for regulations relating to marijuana uses, according to the legislation.

"This is a unique situation," said Council President Hal DeSaussure. "The state passed the law [legalizing medical marijuana] but has no regulations to implement it."

The state of Ohio approved Substitute House Bill 523, and Governor John Kasich signed it into law June 8. The new law is effective Sept. 8, 2016, and permits licensed physicians to recommend the use of medical marijuana to patients in Ohio and creates state regulatory oversight of the cultivation, processing, sale and use of medical marijuana.

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"It's important to get something on the books as the state works through the process [of implementing the law]," said Council member Dan Williams. "I don't want a situation where someone makes a request before the guidelines are in place."

Because the state didn't pass guidelines for implementing the law, the moratorium needs to be in place immediately, Williams said.

"It just lets us have time to review this," he added.

Hudson's ordinance allows Hudson City Council to adopt legislation prohibiting or limiting the number of medical marijuana cultivators, processors and dispensaries in the city.

Hudson City Council also can enact planning, zoning and business regulation laws that further the health, safety, welfare, comfort and peace of its citizens, including restricting or prohibiting certain business uses, according to the legislation.

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The legislation would allow the city and Council to review the new law and respond to it.

"It gives us the opportunity to act and not be acted upon by outside forces," said Council member Alex Kelemen.

If the state legislation isn't in place within six months, Council could vote to extend the moratorium.

Munroe Falls has passed legislation for six month moratoriums regarding marijuana, while Tallmadge has a public hearing scheduled for later in September.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

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