Medical pot ban left in limbo

By Dave Lindeman - For the Courier

HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights has banned the production and sale of medical marijuana but, at least for now, you won’t find that ban in the city’s zoning code.

City council earlier this year passed a ban on medical marijuana. An attempt to make that ban a part of the zoning code failed at Monday night’s council meeting.

Council considered an ordinance Monday that would have added the city’s ban on medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and retail dispensaries to the city’s zoning code.

The ordinance hit a snag when Council Member Janell Smith questioned City Law Director Gerald McDonald about the ordinance. She said she understood that council could undo a moratorium with a simple vote but once it was written into the code things would get more complicated.

“If we want to change that, it would require us to go to planning commission first to get a recommendation and then to council as opposed to just a council resolution,” McDonald said.

When it came time for vote, Andy Hill, Nancy Byrge, Ed Lyons and Mark Campbell voted to add the ban to the zoning code. Smith, Richard Shaw and Glenn Otto voted no. Seth Morgan was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Since it takes a majority of council members – five – to pass an ordinance, the issue failed.

The bottom line: there is still a marijuana ban in effect, but the way things stand council could change that with a simple vote.

That could still change. Council could take up the issue of adding the ban to the city’s code again. After the meeting Lyons said he expected council would do that in the near future. Since Morgan has been an outspoken opponent of medical marijuana, his vote would be the fifth vote needed to make that happen.

By Dave Lindeman

For the Courier

Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.

Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.