Canton sets rules for recreational marijuana sales in the city

CANTON – The city of Canton is updating its laws to prepare for local businesses that plan to sell recreational marijuana.

Canton City Council voted unanimously Monday to change the city’s business regulation code to set parameters for recreational marijuana sales since Ohio voters in November voted to allow adults aged 21 and older to buy, possess and grow marijuana.

Canton voters overwhelmingly approved the legalization, with 65% of the 14,286 voters supporting Issue 2 in November. The issue passed in every Canton precinct except in Canton Ward 7’s E precinct, election results show.

There are currently 120 certified medical cannabis licensees and another 17 provisional licensees operating 126 dispensaries statewide, per the Ohio Department of Commerce. Many of these businesses were able to apply for dual-use licenses that allow them to sell medical and adult-use products at their facilities, per rules proposed by the cannabis division of the Ohio Department of Commerce. The state has yet to release the list of which operators have applied for the dual-use licenses.

The changes to Canton's code, which had been recommended by the Canton City Planning Commission, include:

  • Inserting a definition for a “marijuana facility” and further defining the four subsets of those facilities: cultivator, dispensary, processor and testing laboratory.

  • Adding an extra fee for when adult-use cannabis operators apply for a conditional use permit. They already must pay a $75 fee to request a conditional use permit and now will be required to also pay $500. The money will be added to the city’s main operating fund, called the general fund.

  • Adding spacing requirements for where the operators can be located. No marijuana facility or adult-use cannabis operator can be located within 500 feet of a school, church, public park, public playground, public libraries, preschools, child day care facilities or other uses established specifically for the activities of minors; within 1,000 feet of another dispensary; or within a residentially zoned area.

  • Establishing the permissible hours of operations to be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or other hours consistent with a marijuana dispensary permit issued by the state.

Canton currently has four dispensaries: The Botanist, Zen Leaf, The Citizen and Ohio Cannabis Co. It is expected that the four existing dispensaries will be the first ones eligible to offer recreational marijuana.

Reach Canton Repository staff writer Kelli Weir at 330-580-8339 or kelli.weir@cantonrep.com.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Canton changes zoning rules for recreational marijuana sales

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