Northwood is considering an ordinance that would impose a moratorium on granting permits that will allow the sale of medical marijuana until the state develops rules and regulations on the matter.
Last year, the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 523, which legalizes medical marijuana in Ohio. The law went into effect on Sept. 8. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will allow people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the state medical board, to buy and use marijuana. While the legislation set a basic framework for the program, it left the task of establishing specific rules and guidelines for the cultivation, processing, testing, dispensing and medical use of marijuana to different state agencies.
Under the new law, an advisory board will help frame the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. The Ohio Department of Commerce will then have the responsibility for developing rules and regulations governing the business aspects of medical marijuana licenses, cultivation, sales, consumption, and enforcement.
The Northwood law director and staff have been reviewing the new statute and its effects, if any, it may have on Northwood’s personnel policies.
“There’s a state of flux as to what the state will allow and not allow,” said City Administrator Bob Anderson. “So our city attorney Brian Ballenger thought it would be best to do a limited moratorium on anything to do with marijuana until we have more information from the state.”
Since the new law expressly permits local governments to legislatively regulate and even prohibit medical marijuana cultivation and sale through zoning laws, the city is reviewing the best options using zoning codes.
Until the rule making process is complete, Northwood is not ready to formulate new legislation dealing with the matter. As a result, the administration has