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Sheffield council passes six-month moratorium on medical marijuana

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SHEFFIELD — Village Council passed Monday a resolution imposing a six-month medical marijuana moratorium

The village, which first began contemplating a moratorium in August, joins Avon and Avon Lake in enacting moratoriums on the granting of building permits or certificates of occupancy for anything related to the cultivation, processing or retail sales of medical marijuana.

Ohio’s medical marijuana law allows people to use the plant in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions while barring patients from smoking it or growing it at home. The law took effect Sept. 8, though the program is not expected to be fully operational until two years later.

The Commerce Department, state medical board and state Board of Pharmacy will play a role in regulating medical marijuana and those who cultivate, test, use and dispense it.

In August when a moratorium was being discussed in Sheffield, its need was strongly questioned by Councilman Bob Markovich, who said the village really has no need to impose one since the medical marijuana industry will be highly regulated by the state.

On Monday, Markovich, who described himself after the meeting as a libertarian who is in favor of legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use, abstained from voting on the moratorium.

Markovich said he doesn’t have a personal business interest in medical marijuana, and he didn’t abstain for such a reason.

“My thought is that I’m not smarter than any of the others who have passed legislation,” Markovich said. “Federal legislation says it’s illegal, but many states are legalizing it or have legalized it. I abstained because I couldn’t in good conscience vote either way.”

Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or jwysochanski@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonWysochanski.



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