Cleveland nixes 95% of real estate for medical cannabis businesses

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Only about 5% of land in Cleveland would be eligible for medical cannabis businesses to set up shop under a new and highly restrictive ordinance approved by the city council this week.

The ordinance – approved on a 15-1 vote by the council – leaves precious little space in one of Ohio’s biggest cities for MMJ dispensaries, grow operations, infused product makers and testing labs, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The ordinance prohibits MMJ companies from locating within 500 feet of schools, churches, public libraries, playgrounds or public parks.

It also permits MMJ businesses only on properties that are zoned as “a general retail district or one of three industrial property designations,” according to the newspaper. And any property zoned for local retail businesses or as residential can’t be used by medical cannabis businesses.

However, a first draft of the ordinance would have made the 500-foot rule into a 1,000-foot rule, essentially banning MMJ in Cleveland.

So perhaps local MMJ companies should be grateful they’ll be able to get any space at all in the city.