With the state’s medical marijuana program starting to take shape, the city appears poised to decide if it wants to permit or prohibit related businesses.(Photo: File photo)
PATASKALA – The city’s ongoing debate regarding whether to permit or prohibit medical marijuana businesses could be coming to an end.
In late February, Pataskala Law Director Brian Zets provided Pataskala City Council with information regarding the state’s new medical marijuana program. The rules surrounding the program are starting to take shape, and Zets suggested the council act soon if it wants to shut — or open — the door to future medical marijuana businesses.
“As you all know, medical marijuana is here in Ohio,” Zets told the council. “. …It’s here to stay.”
Per the state, all the needed rules surrounding the program are scheduled to be in place by Sept. 8.
Still, Zets suggested the council make up its mind well before that date.
“These rules are all in the process of being developed,” he said.
Cultivator rules are slated to be adopted by May 6, according to the state’s timeline.
The state also is developing rules for processors and dispensaries, among rules for other facets of the program.
In the meantime, council members on Feb. 20 quizzed Zets about the ins and the outs of the program.
Council President Tim Hickin asked Zets if the cultivation sites would resemble farm fields.
Zets replied they would not. Instead, they would be housed in indoor facilities.
“These facilities (will be) highly secure, and the regulations (will require) them to be highly secure,” he said.
The same will hold true for dispensaries, Zets said. They will not be “fly-by-night operations,” he said.
Moving forward, Zets reiterated the city can outright prohibit any business connected to the industry.