DeKALB – The City Council plans to welcome all types of recreational marijuana businesses starting in 2020, including dispensaries, craft growers, infusers and other operations.
At the recommendation of Ward 1 Alderwoman Carolyn Morris, the council on Monday removed a clause prohibiting craft growers, cultivation centers, infusers, processors, transporters and medical marijuana cultivation centers before unanimously approving new regulations for recreational marijuana shops. The city will also impose a 3% tax on sales of the drug.
“I don’t want us to miss the opportunity to have the first one of these sorts of craft growers in the near vicinity because we didn’t want to be proactive in saying in our ordinance that we welcome you,” Morris said.
Morris said city code should allow for all types of marijuana-related industry when the time comes, which will help potential entrepreneurs to consider DeKalb for their business, and the city can reap the benefits.
“I’m already disappointed that we aren’t going to be able to offer recreational marijuana sales in January,” Morris said. “So what that says to me is that we need to be more proactive with our planning and make sure that those plans are set in place so that people can know what to expect in advance.”
The ordinance combines regulations for sales of medical and recreational marijuana through a special use permit, and would permit up to five shops in DeKalb. All shops will have to be 250 feet from homes, schools and day cares, and 1,500 feet – a little more than a quarter-mile – from other dispensaries, documents show.
Dispensaries also will be allowed in multi-tenant buildings, similar to one proposed by BQ Enterprises, which was given the green light by the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission Wednesday for a medical dispensary at 700 Peace Road, and next heads to the council.
No drive-through dispensaries or smoking within a dispensary would be allowed, although deliveries of product to the shops are allowed, which will require security cameras. Dispensary hours would be limited to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The council’s deliberations were based on what they said was limited information at the state level to help guide local policy.
Ward 7 Alderman Tony Faivre wondered what air filtration system a growing center might need, and if the smell from growing areas would affect surrounding residents.
“Do we put one in a neighborhood? Do we have to put it in an industrial park?” Faivre said. “We have to come up with all these specifications and we don’t have those right now. What if we say they can do it in downtown DeKalb and the state says it has to be in an industrial park? We don’t know.”
Ward 5 Alderman Scott McAdams recently toured a cultivation center with Mayor Jerry Smith.
“When the mayor and I toured the cultivation center, the smell was extremely intense on the inside,” McAdams said, “but was not detected on the outside.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle