“We need to preserve the integrity of our community. I think that’s foremost, of utmost importance,” Fisher told the Council.
Zoning for dispensaries, which sell cannabis and cannabis-related products and supplies to cardholders, could be approached a few different ways. Dispensaries could have conditional permits, meaning a public hearing is needed for their approval, but Fisher recommended that dispensaries have permitted use permits provided they meet certain criteria, such as remaining 1,000 feet away from schools or 500 feet away from churches, parks or residential areas.
“It’s not like you can be at the mall with your kids and say, ‘Oh, come on, let’s run in here and get Grandma some edible gummies because her arthritis is hurting.’ That’s not going to be how this operates,” Fisher said.
Dispensaries would likely be zoned Central Business, Urban Commercial or General Commercial. Fisher took Neighborhood Commercial zoning districts out of the equation because of their proximity to neighborhoods, but the possibility of a dispensary opening up downtown is not yet out of the question.
Councilman Pat Jones told the Council to keep in mind that recreational legalization, which all present agreed is inevitable either in the state or at the federal level in the next few years, would mean that medical dispensaries will shift to providing recreational cannabis.