CW Council places moratorium on marijuana dispensaries

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer
Canal Winchester City Council is calling a short-term moratorium on adult-use cannabis dispensaries, cultivators, and processors until the end of the year while the state finalizes its own rules following passage of State Issue 2 in 2023.

During council’s May 6 work session, Canal Winchester Law Director Thaddeus Boggs said the state is in its rulemaking and licensing process. Medical marijuana use is prohibited as a matter of city zoning.

“The thought being letting that play its course before opening up Canal Winchester to potentially those businesses was at least a path to consider,” said Boggs. “It is only for businesses. The personal cultivation and use provisions in State Issue 2 are written in a way that local governments cannot deviate from what that permits.”

Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire said the city has little vacant commercial space and the cannabis business is not something his department is cultivating for development.

“We believe there will be a number of applications in the Canal Winchester zip code based on conversations I’ve had with potential applicants,” said Haire. “So, it will not be in the city of Canal Winchester, but in the Canal Winchester zip code.”

According to Boggs, the state is moving forward with the rulemaking process according to what was passed by voters on the ballot and he expects the state to have licenses ready to go by August or September.

In two years, the state will evaluate whether or not to issue additional licenses and if so, how many.

The city resolution on the eight-month moratorium was unanimously passed during council’s regular meeting following the work session.

Public speaking
Wheels of government moved swiftly after a citizen suggestion earlier this year that council only ask for names of individuals wanting to speak during the public comments portion of the agenda.

A resolution amending council rules asking for a speaker’s name and whether or not they are a resident was approved. The only exception is if a speaker wants to comment during a quasi-judicial public proceeding.

Speeding concerns
Addressing speeding concerns in a letter to council, resident Paula Jarvis wrote, “I believe it would be in the best interest of public safety for East Waterloo Street and Trine Street to become a three-way stop like what was recently put in place at East Waterloo and Washington. The factors that have built up over time to create this problem can only get more intense going forward, so please consider and approve a three-way top at East Waterloo and Trine.”

Councilwoman Jill Amos said she is not opposed to putting a stop sign at the intersection and said local residents call the area an internal freeway because of speeding.

Pedestrian hit
Downtown merchant Bruna Brundige told council a woman was recently hit by a car in front of the Cornersmiths door at the intersection of Waterloo and High streets. The accident was witnessed by the store’s owner and her daughter.

“It’s the second time a car has jumped the curb,” said Brundige. “This time it was tragic. We are dreadfully close to the front of car bumpers and they seem to be jumping there. How man pedestrians at any one time are at that corner?”

Brundige acknowledged the city has a comprehensive plan in place to improve the intersection, however, she asked if it is possible for the city to take another look at its plans.

“Look at other communities and how they’re putting in stops for cars,” said Brundige. “See if we can prevent the inevitable.”

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