PARMA, Ohio – City officials moved closer to rescinding the moratorium on allowing the cultivation, processing and dispensing of medical marijuana in the city.
At the March 13 meeting, Thomas G. Haren, an attorney for potential medical marijuana business owners, presented council and the planning committee with additional information about this controversial topic.
Heran explained that there are four separate “players” involved in this industry: cultivators, processors, dispensaries and testing laboratories.
An ordinance to extend the moratorium for an additional 30 days was passed on second reading unanimously. Councilmen Larry Napoli, Mark Casselberry and Dennis Kish were absent, however.
Ward 5 Councilman Allan Divis, who is the chairman of the planning committee, said he supports the issue.
“For all the right reasons, I support it,” Divis said. “We have to make sure that it’s away from the schools. We have to compete with the other cities that are considering it. Why not Parma?
“It would be a nice source of revenue,” Divis said. “There is more discussion that needs to be done, but I would not be adverse to it.”
Council President Sean Brennan, who is an educator, also supports the issue.
“After researching this issue thoroughly,” Brennan said, “I’m convinced that bringing the medical marijuana industry to Parma will benefit our city.
“First, I’m impressed with the safety and security mechanisms the state requires for these facilities,” Brennan said. “It is highly regulated, like alcohol. Further, we are in need of jobs for our residents and revenue to make up for cuts from the state. This will help prevent us from having to go back to the taxpayers for more revenue in the future.
“Lastly,” Brennan said, “if Parma does not allow the industry, other cities will, and we will lose out on the benefits.”
Several council members asked