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Ohio: Lakewood, Other Cities Block Medical Marijuana Business Licenses Before Any Will Be Awarded

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Laws for legal medical marijuana take effect in Ohio in one month, but Lakewood and other cities across the state are making moves to block cannabis businesses from opening in their communities.

Several Ohio cities have put a six-month moratorium on licensing marijuana cultivators, processors and retailers. Several others are considering temporary bans in advance of the new law, which takes effect September 8.

But it's likely to be six months before any marijuana businesses are licensed in Ohio. Three government agencies will be setting up the regulations and licensing processes, and the first deadline is in May 2017.

Ohio's medical marijuana law will people with about 20 qualifying medical conditions to use marijuana with the recommendation and approval by a physician. Stores will be able to sell cannabis plant material, patches, tinctures and oils.

Lakewood, Beavercreek, Troy and Piqua recently passed six-month moratoriums on licensing businesses and Rocky River, Lancaster, Lima and Liberty Township in Southwest Ohio are working on similar temporary bans.

One city has gone so far as to ban all legal marijuana operations. Hamilton, in Butler County, passed its ban in February 2015, months in advance of that year's recreational marijuana measure qualifying for the ballot.

Washington: Attorney General Says Cities, Counties Can Block Legal Marijuana Stores


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Washington state's anemic marijuana legalization law is looking weaker by the minute. Now it appears much of the state won't even have local access to cannabis -- Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced cities and counties can block licensed, legal marijuana businesses from operating.

Just how much of the state will have actual marijuana stores remains an open question after Atty. Gen. Ferguson issued the long-awaited opinion on Thursday.

Ferguson said Initiative 502, the limited legalization measure approved by state voters in 2012, allows local governments to ban retail marijuana shops, grow operations, and processing facilities from their jurisdictions, reports Gene Johnson of the Associated Press.

The opinion was requested by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which was put in charge of implementing marijuana legalization by I-502. The LCB is concerned that such local bans could severely restrict access to legal marijuana, making it difficult to move people from the black market.

Several localities, including unincorporated Pierce County, Lakewood and Wenatchee, already have enacted bans on cannabis businesses. These jurisdictions have local ordinances requiring businesses to "follow state, federal, and local law," and of course marijuana remains an illegal, Schedule I controlled substance under U.S. federal law.

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