Ohio Towns Move to Block Medical Cannabis Businesses

Several Ohio municipalities are moving to block marijuana businesses from opening within their borders as the state moves forward with its medical cannabis program.

A few cities have put six-month moratoriums on marijuana dispensaries, growers and processors, while several others have similar legislation in the works, according to Cleveland.com.

Ohio’s medical marijuana law goes into effect Sept 8, but it will be well into next year – and perhaps longer – until the state opens the licensing process and select winners. Given the long runway until business licenses are awarded, the six-month moratoriums likely won’t matter.

However, the moves show that there could be some resistance to the MMJ in Ohio, and the cities could potentially extend the moratoriums to shut out the industry.

The towns that have passed six-month moratoriums on licensed marijuana businesses include: Lakewood, Beavercreek, Troy and Piqua. Towns that are considering such moratoriums include: Rocky River, Lancaster, Lima and Liberty Township.

Lakewood’s moratorium also blocks the town’s zoning commission from issuing occupancy or change-of-use permits for would-be marijuana businesses during the next six months, meaning that someone who wants to secure a location in preparation for the license application process won’t be able to do so, Cleveland.com reported.

“There’s a lot of unknowns when this gets rolled out,” said Kent Scarrett, executive director of the Ohio Municipal League.