(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The City of St. Joseph is taking its first steps toward defining where medical marijuana-related businesses could be located within the city.
St. Joseph’s Planning & Zoning Commission considered revisions and additions to zoning ordinances that would regulate medical marijuana facilities.
Missouri voters approved legalizing medical marijuana growing and selling last November.
Amendment 2′s language stipulates no fewer than 24 licenses for dispensaries can be offered in each of the state’s eight congressional districts. It’s unknown just how many licenses the state will ultimately grant. Competition for the businesses - and ultimately their sales tax dollars - could be fierce.
The City of St. Joseph can decide what types of zones dispensaries, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities can operate, and within what distance to schools, churches, and daycares they would be allowed.
The Amendment 2 language states facilities could operate 1,000 feet from a school, or less but not more than the 1,000 feet. Municipalities can set the standards but no more restrictive than the 1,000 feet maximum.
The Planning & Zoning Commission recommends 300 feet between a medical-marijuana-related business and schools, churches or daycares. The amended recommendation also clarified that the distance requirement also applies to “like” marijuana business licenses but a dispensary could open shop next to a light manufacturing business or another type of related business.
The Commission also approved a recommendation to rezone a location on Mitchell Avenue for light manufacturing. Western Alternative, LLC applied to have a plat of land rezoned from a Commercial District to one for Light Manufacturing. John Spencer represented Western Alternative at the meeting Thursday night and said the goal is to turn a blighted area into a medical marijuana plant for growing and processing.
Public comment fueled the meeting to run a full 3-hours Thursday. The approved recommendations will now move to City Council for more debate and ultimate action.
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