BEAVERCREEK — The City of Beavercreek held a meeting to provide factual information about marijuana recently.
The City of Beavercreek received three applications for a dispensary within the city limits, only one is permitted by law in three counties. The City of Beavercreek did not receive applications for cultivation or processing centers. The application deadlines for all three have passed, so the residents will wait for a decision from the State of Ohio, which could be as early as January or as late as the end of March.
“How did this happen right under our noses,” one Beavercreek resident said as she left the meeting.
Residents claimed that in the two-year timespan of the city working on the medical marijuana issues, which has been discussed largely throughout Beavercreek and the State of Ohio, that they didn’t know anything about it.
In attendance of the meeting was Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone, Vice Mayor Julie Vann, council member Chad Whilding and City Manager Pete Landrum, along with Planning Director Jeff McGraff. Also attending was Ohio Representative, Rick Perales.
The State of Ohio passed House Bill 523, which legalized medical marijuana in the State of Ohio. This became effective on Sept. 8, 2016. At that time, city council proposed and passed a moratorium to allow the city an additional six months to look into issues for permitting retail dispensaries, cultivators and processing of medical marijuana.
This extended time would allow council to look into the zoning, prohibition, and/or limitations that were already in place and things that may need to be changed.
“The goals of the City of Beavercreek and help ensure the public peace, health, safety, and welfare of its citizens,” as written in resolution No. 16-16.
Another moratorium was passed in Nov. 28, 2016 to allow for more research into the issues. However, the moratorium that was proposed earlier this month, on Dec. 11 was opposed, because the benefits proved to be null and void within days, since the last deadline for applications for dispensary was just days away.
“When we get passed this first phase of the process, we may be able to change things for the future,” Vice Mayor Vann said. “But, for now, we can’t do anything else.”
One issue that faced the city was residents indicating that they were not properly notified of the possibilities of medical marijuana within the city limits. However, the city provided attendees of the meeting a list of all notifications that were provided to citizens along the way.
On May 19, 2017, an advertisement for a public hearing was published in the Xenia Daily Gazette, as required by law. Again, an advertisement was placed in the same publication on two other dates, June 26 and July 10 notifying of public hearings.
The residents requested that the city provide notifications in the Dayton Daily News as well. The city indicated that they provided notifications according to the law. During all public hearings, no public input was given regarding medical marijuana concerns. There were some citizens that spoke regarding accessory structures, which really wasn’t related to the issues at hand.
The city’s definition of a medical marijuana dispensary is defined as, “a licensed medical clinic whose primary function is to prepare and sell medical marijuana to authorized patients.”
In order to qualify as such a facility, it should not be located within 500 feet of the boundaries of a parcel of real estate having a school, places of religious assembly, public library, public playgrounds, or public parks. Not leaving much room for a retail medical marijuana facilities and fewer for cultivating and processing.
Beavercreek has three applications for dispensaries for this first round. The addresses for dispensaries for medical marijuana include: 4370 Tonawanda Trail, 3400 Seajay Drive, and 3435 Dayton-Xenia Road. Only one dispensary is allowed in Greene, Fayette and Madison Counties combined.
Though many attendees were in attendance to voice their concerns regarding cultivating and processing facilities, which do not apply to the City of Beavercreek.
Most in attendance were opposed to all issues regarding marijuana, with only one in agreement stating that she has family members that would greatly benefit from the ability to obtain medical marijuana.
The next step for the City of Beavercreek is to wait for the decision on the current applications for dispensaries. Prior to the second phase of this bill, if there is a second phase, the city is asking for input from citizens regarding medical marijuana.
The reason for the informational meeting was to set the record straight because the city felt some media issued mis-information. The city’s presentation was to provide the facts to residents.
Find all public hearings notified in the Xenia Gazette and on City of Beavercreek’s website at www.beavercreekohio.gov.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.