Council votes down medical marijuana dispensaries

Issue will go back to Planning Commission

By Melanie Yingst -

TROY — Troy City Council voted down the city’s amended ordinance 4-3 in regards to allowing up to three retail medical marijuana dispensaries for the second time on Monday.

Council members Doug Tremblay and John Twilliger were not present at the meeting.

Council members Bobby Phillips, Lynne Snee and John Schweser voted for the legislation; Robin Oda, Tom Kendall, Brock Heath and William Twiss voted against the legislation.

Prior to the vote, Troy resident Aimee Shannon supported the medical marijuana dispensaries within the city’s business district. She thanked council for their time and for discussion about the issues surrounding the initiative.

Following the vote, Shannon said council missed an opportunity to help the residents of Troy obtain access to medical marijuana.

“It’s really sad for the city. This was an opportunity they could have been helping people within the city who are sick with these illnesses. There’s plenty of research that’s out there. We’ve got a heroin epidemic in Troy. There are studies out there that proves that access to medical marijuana that can help deal with the epidemic, but it’s all about access and they are denying access within Troy. I think it’s a shame,” Shannon said.

Council member Heath said he voted against the issue because he felt it sends a wrong message to the youth of Troy.

“The reason I said no to the medical marijuana in Troy because it sends a confusing message to the citizens, especially to kids in Troy. If we are OK with this type of medicine coming in I don’t think they are going to do the research with the medical versus non-medical,” Heath said. Heath said by allowing medical marijuana, youth may get the message marijuana use is OK in general and “it’s not that big of a deal.”

Heath said residents can still obtain medical marijuana for its use, but believes patients should have it dispensed outside of the city’s limits.

Council voted to extended the moratorium on medical marijuana on Nov. 7. The second 180-day moratorium will expire July 13, 2017.

The issue will go back to Troy Planning Commission for review.

Last month the Law and Ordinance Committee OK’d the city’s amended ordinance to allow up to three medical marijuana dispensaries to be located in the B-4 Highway Business District only. An emergency designation is not recommended on the issue.

During the council’s public hearing and at the committee meeting, several residents spoke both for and against the ordinance to allow patients to access the drug from a licensed dispensary on the west side of the city. The ordinance bans cultivation and processing of medical marijuana.

According to the most recent reports regarding medical marijuana dispensaries, 40 licenses have been approved so far in the state.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Commission recently announced that Ohio residents will have to pay $50 a year to the state for a patient card under its proposed rules released last month.

Medical marijuana can be dispensed in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing.

Board of Pharmacy, Department of Commerce and State Medical Board are in charge of the medical marijuana program.

Patients qualify if they have the following conditions: HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic, severe, and intractable; Parkinson’s disease; post traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis. Individuals can petition the state medical board to add conditions.

Issue will go back to Planning Commission

By Melanie Yingst