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Town Council approves marijuana moratorium

A special session of Lakeview Town Council was held on Tuesday, April 29, to hold a vote on Ordinance 848 regarding a one-year moratorium on medicinal marijuana prior to the May 1 deadline.

The meeting was deemed necessary following a split vote at the regular session on Tuesday, April 22, necessitating two readings in full of the ordinance prior to a formal vote.

Ordinance 848 establishes a moratorium of up to one-year on permitting medicinal marijuana dispensaries to operate within city limits while Town Council considers options on how toregulate time, place and manner of distribution. If a vote had not been held prior to May 1 local jurisdiction on a moratorium would have been forfeited.

A 3-1 vote approved the moratorium, with council member Mike Hughes absent and Michael Warren being the lone dissenter.

Town Legal Counsel John Bogardus suggested that two one-hour work sessions be established to consider specific details on restrictions such as required distances from schools, parks, and town property, after which time once approved by town council the moratorium could be lifted. With a work session already scheduled for May 13 to address the PM Advance Plan, the first work session to address medicinal marijuana regulations will be held on May 27.

Council member Warren expressed the need for urgency in expediting the process to determine specific regulations to lift the moratorium as soon as possible. Warren stressed that medicinal marijuana cardholders with valid prescriptions are now burdened with needing to travel great distances to acquire their medicine.

Members of the council agreed that specific regulations should be established sooner than within the one-year timeline so that the moratorium can be lifted as permitted by statute.

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