Courtney Young has been waiting for a chance to go into business. She took her first major step toward that goal on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the city of Yukon amended its laws regulating where medical marijuana dispensaries can locate.
Young, who owns the Green Lily, a CDB shop that she plans to open on Main Street, said she had been waiting to open in hopes the city would change its laws.
They did so on Tuesday by unanimous vote.
The new law allows dispensaries to be in retail- or commercially-zoned sites that are at least 300 feet from parks, churches, child care facilities, community centers, jail facilities as well as other dispensaries.
Previously, dispensaries had to be at least 1,000 feet from those locations.
Yukon’s new law still requires that dispensaries be located at least 1,000 feet from schools, a distance set by state law.
A requirement that they be located 1,000 feet from residential areas was eliminated.
Young obtained her application for a Yukon dispensary permit on Wednesday. She said she waited to apply for her state permit until the city made a decision.
“We are now in a location that is OK with the city,” she said.
Young plans locate in the 500 block of East Main Street, a location that would have been within 1,000 feet of a church and the Yukon Police Department.
“We’ve got the preliminary application. It is a starting point,” she said. “There are a lot of hoops. This makes the ‘to-do’ list a little shorter,” she said.
Young said she initially applied for a business license to operate a CDB store, but had all along wanted to also operate a medical marijuana dispensary.
“All along we wanted to do both. Our original plan is what we will go forward with,” she said.
The first step, however, is to apply for a permit from the state, which Young said she expects to do in the next few days.
“We are very happy and pleased. They (the city) have rolled out the red carpet for us. They have been willing to meet with us and they have been very helpful. We are so pleased with how the city has handled this,” Young said.
Young said she hopes to open the store in late October or early November.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the council denied a request by Brian Allen, who said the ordinance’s requirement that residents who plan to grow their own medical marijuana a city permit and open their homes for inspection.
“My home is my sanctuary. My home is where my family put the yellow ribbon around the tree, waited for me, cried because they were scared I wasn’t going to come home and suffered the injuries that I had when I came home from Iraq,” Allen said.
He said that his home is no more a medical facility than it is a restaurant. He is only seeking to grow his own medication.
“A conservative view is to keep government out of our homes. On the liberal side would be to give us our privacy and our rights,” Allen said.
“You shouldn’t be in our medicine cabinets. If someone wants to grow their own plants, someone should have the right to do that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Stacy Mason, whose two children suffer from medical conditions, also objected to the inspection requirement.
“I am confused why I have too have my home inspected for that,” she said, pointing out that most people who will grow medical marijuana plants in their homes will use small tents that plug into an outlet.
Her other concern was the potential that her name might be placed on a list that is open to the public.
The state permit that is required is confidential. However, it is not clear whether people requesting grow permits in Yukon would have that same privacy assurance.
Meanwhile, several city officials said they do not plan to inspect every home where a grow permit is issued. That likely will occur only if another department is in the home for another reason and sees a violation.
“It is not our intent to go out and inspect too many of them,” said City Attorney Gary Miller, who drafted the ordinance.
He said Yukon doesn’t have staffing to do that.
Shelly Selby, who was the only councilmember who opposed the original ordinance, voted for the changes, saying that the changes are less restrictive and are more compliant with state law.
Donna Yanda agreed that the previous ordinance was too restrictive.
The new law went into effect immediately.