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Commercial marijuana growing, processing facility fails to pass planning commission

The first of its kind medical marijuana commercial growing and processing specific use permit failed to receive the necessary votes to pass at the April 13 Mustang Planning Commission public hearing.
Four of the commission members voted against it, while two voted in favor.

An Oklahoma marijuana grow operation is pictured. A Mustang businessman is working to have a growing and processing plant off State Highway 152. Photo / Provided

The commission deemed the location of the medical marijuana plant, (1516 E State Highway 152), would be too close to residential property and a place of worship. It would be 0 feet from a residence and diagonal from a church.
Resident Nathan Harris received approval Feb. 2 from the Mustang City Council for a specific use permit to have a medical marijuana plant.
Specific use permits were decided on a case-by-case basis after Harris brought distancing and fencing changes to the council in November 2020.
All location restrictions — libraries, museums, playgrounds, child care centers, churches, parks, pools, recreation facilities, juvenile or adult halfway houses, correctional facilities, substance abuse rehabilitation centers or residentially zoned districts — were also removed at the April 8 council meeting.
The remaining restriction of private and public schools still stands, as it is state law for marijuana dispensaries.
They must be 1,000 feet away from schools.
Should Harris choose to appeal the denial by the commission to the city council, he must make it within 15 days.
If he doesn’t, the process will not go any further.
There were many residents who attended the hearing and voiced concerns about fencing and having a buffer in between the plant and other nearby properties, as well as water runoff and possible smells.
The smell of butane, a liquefied gas, is sometimes used at medical marijuana plants and can give off a distinct odor.
Community Devel-opment Director Mel-issa Helsel said Harris had initially stated the plant would not utilize butane, however, it may in the future.
If butane will be used, it would have to go before the council and there may be different fire requirements, Helsel said.
Other residents, like Sharina Berry, spoke about concerns with how the city notified people of the hearing.
She said the map included in the mailed notifications was outdated.
Helsel said the city is required to send a Canadian County map that is from a title company.
The company gave the city a map showing all property within 1,000 feet of where the plant would be. Approximately 80 households received notices.
“We went through and determined that we did it according to state law and city regulations,” said Helsel.
Notices are mailed to addresses that are listed with the county assessor’s records.
Berry also said it was confusing how the notices for growing and processing were mailed separately.
Because the items are not one, Helsel said the city attorney advised that they be mailed in different envelopes.
The city is also required to publish notices in a newspaper, which they did in the Mustang Times.
“It seems like the most effective way to notify people,” Helsel said. “I can’t think of a way to do it better than that.”
Berry said she was disappointed that the process would remain the same.

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