The City of Portsmouth will be holding a public hearing to allow members of the community access to information about medicinal marijuana and to respond to questions and concerns from the community.
The hearing will be held at 6 p.m., Oct. 16 at Shawnee State University in the Sodexo Ballroom. The public is invited to attend and will be given a specific time limit to give their input regarding the matter.
During Monday’s Portsmouth City Council meeting, City Manger Derek Allen explained that the City has attempted to contact experts to speak at the meeting; however, it has been unable to do so. Instead, the City will be working to educate themselves in order to present accurate information to those in attendance.
The City of Portsmouth recently decided not to ban a medicinal marijuana dispensary from being established within the City of Portsmouth.
“The State of Ohio authorized medical marijuana throughout the state,” Solicitor John Haas stated. “The only way to keep a dispensary or other medical marijuana facility out of Portsmouth is for City Council to pass an ordinance banning them.”
At a previous City Council meeting, Allen explained that the State of Ohio passed legislation approving medicinal marijuana last year. At that time, the City issued a six month moratorium on municipal legislation permitting a dispensary. Allen added that the City chose to issue the moratorium while awaiting guidelines from the State level. Still awaiting those guidelines, the City issued a second six month moratorium in February, which has now expired. He added that the State has now established guidelines and thus the City could make a decision as to how to proceed.
The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program explained that the State Board of Pharmacy will begin accepting medical marijuana dispensary applications at 8 a.m. on Nov. 3. Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. Nov. 17. Applications and all related materials must be submitted electronically through a web-based application accessible at www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/dispensaries.
Prior to opening the application period, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program offered two question and answer periods established to answer questions regarding the application process. The first question and answer period started Sept. 19 and will lasted until Oct. 5. The second question and answer period will be from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20. Additional information about the guidelines and application process can be found at www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.