HUBER HEIGHTS — Medical marijuana may get a second chance in Huber Heights.
Allowing a medical marijuana production facility in the city has been the focal point of a debate in the city for the past year. Initially, the planning commission approved zoning rules for medical marijuana facilities but council turned those rules down. On Monday night, council decided to start the process over again.
Council Member Richard Shaw, the leading advocate on council for bringing a medical marijuana facility to the city, presented a new version of the medical marijuana zoning ordinance Monday night. Shaw said the amended ordinance answers the questions that residents and other council members raised the first time around.
“This version is the strongest ordinance that I have reviewed in the state of Ohio when it comes to medical marijuana so we could be setting a precedent,” Shaw said.
The motion before council was to return the ordinance to the planning commission, which would once again study the issue and make a recommendation to council. City council would have the final say on approval.
Council Member Ed Lyons said he had “serious reservations” about the penalty phase of the ordinance and the parts of the ordinance concerning odors from the processing facility, but would vote for sending the ordinance back to the planning commission. Council Member Tyler Starline noted that voting yes on Monday night would not “bind this council to have to do anything affirmative or against what comes out of the planning commission.”
Lyons and Starline then voted yes along with Shaw, Janell Smith and Glenn Otto. Judy Blankenship and Nancy Byrge voted no. Mark Campbell was absent from the meeting at the time of the vote.
The result means that the planning commission will take up the amended ordinance and eventually will make another zoning recommendation to council – and that Huber Heights residents are likely to hear a lot more about medical marijuana in the near future.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.