Medical marijuana-related zoning measures were approved by the Marshfield Board of Aldermen at their Thursday meeting, with one exception.
The board passed several zoning regulations to pave the way for voter-approved statewide legalization of medical marijuana within the timeline required by the state in order to make way for four types of enterprises: dispensaries, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities and laboratories.
The latter three types would operate within existing industrial zones, but dispensaries, which would serve those people who are prescribed cannabis for medical reasons.
The city balked on approving one amendment to the city code that would have allowed conditional use permits for dispensaries in the B-2 central business district zone. This zone is located around the courthouse square.
East Ward Alderman Rob Foster raised a question about siting a dispensary in the area of the square. “Are we really comfortable with B-2, the downtown square?” Foster asked. “Is that necessary to open that area up?”
Currently, the square includes such businesses as legal firms, bail bond offices, real estate firms, a gun shop, a floral shop and other professional offices.
The board seemed to be operating under the belief that dispensaries could not be located within 25 miles of each other; however, the mandate by voters actually stipulates that a dispensary must be available within 25 miles of every citizen.
Foster asked that the B-2 zoning change action be postponed until the next meeting, and no vote was held on that change.
Aldermen did vote on a bill to define terms used in the section regulating medical marijuana facilities, as well as ordinances amending conditional uses in the B-3 general business area for dispensary siting and the I-1 light industrial district for the other types of enterprises associated with medical marijuana.
A new section regulating medical marijuana facilities was also added to the code.