City looks to regulate pot dispensaries

A proposed ordinance to regulate the sale of medical marijuana would essentially ban the sale of the product in Yukon.

The ordinance, drafted by City Attorney Gary E. Miller, would limit where dispensaries could be located in the community. It also would set fees and other regulations for those who are licensed to grow medical marijuana.

Under the proposal, the only areas where medical marijuana could be sold would be just south of Interstate 40 along Garth Brooks Boulevard near Health Center Parkway.

Miller said the ordinance, as currently written, would prohibit a retail marijuana establishment permit from being issued to anyone where the location would be within 1,000 feet of schools, libraries or museums, public playgrounds, child care centers, churches, parks or recreational facility, jails,  or property zoned for residences.

It also would forbid more than one dispensary from operating within 1,000 of another dispensary.

Miller said some type of ordinance will be needed to help regulate where dispensaries can be located.

Several people have already contacted the city with questions about the possibility of opening a retail outlet.

He also said that a number of communities already have established their own policies.

Voters in June passed State Question 788, which legalizes the use of marijuana to treat medical conditions.

A state committee currently is establishing regulations for the law.

Miller said Yukon should also establish local rules.

“The concerns are about how you are going to treat it. Will it be treated as a retail store?” Miller asked. “Can they go into any zoning.”

According to Miller, the state’s major concern involves regulating how close a retail outlet can be to schools.

The proposed Yukon ordinance would be much more restrictive.

It would prohibit anyone from commercially growing marijuana in the city limits, it also would ban anyone from warehousing the product.

In addition, those wanting to grow their own marijuana would have to obtain a city permit that would have to be renewed annually. Retailers would have to obtain a permit, also renewable each year. The fees have not been set, though $240 was proposed for individual permits and $600 was proposed for retail permits

Individuals with growing permits also would be prohibited from giving it away, selling it, or bartering it.

“It is meant for the person who holds the license, not the next-door neighbor,” Miller said.

The proposed ordinance would not affect stores selling CBD products.

Miller and Mitchell Hort, the director of development services, said the proposed ordinance is similar to one related to the sale of alcohol, which also has a 1,000-foot buffer.

Asked by city council members if the ordinance could withstand a legal challenge, Miller said he felt certain it would.

The council is expected to take up the ordinance during its Aug. 21 meeting.

1 Comment

  1. Kathy B. on August 11, 2018 at 11:30 am

    “In addition, those wanting to grow their own marijuana would have to obtain a city permit that would have to be renewed annually.” At a proposed cost of $240 per year. I believe Yukon would be FAR exceeding its authority to pass this ordinance since it is specified in the text of SQ788 that the Oklahoma Health Department is required to SEAL the records of medical marijuana patients for their privacy. Not only would this ordinance violate the specific text of SQ788, it would violate HIPAA rules. Yukon has the authority to regulate where dispensaries are located but it does not have the authority to require patients to go ON RECORD about their medical conditions or medications. i would hope that the Gary E. Miller would take the time to read the text of SQ788 and revise his recommendations immediately.

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