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O’Fallon begins consideration of medical marijuana rezoning

O’Fallon City Council meeting, July 25 [John Tremmel photo]

The O’Fallon City Council has begun consideration of a rezoning request intended to enable the use of a portion of an existing building as a medical marijuana dispensary.

On July 18, the planning and zoning commission had voted to send this rezoning request to the council with a recommendation for approval. On July 25, the council conducted a public hearing and first reading for Bill No. 7110 to rezone land at 1613 East Terra Lane from I-1/Light Industrial District to C-3/Highway Commercial District. The bill was sponsored by council members Dave Hinman and Deana Smith [both of Ward 1].

The property is owned by Faszold Two, LLC, and already has a building on it where Faszold Heating & Cooling operates its business. Still required is the State of Missouri’s approval of the operator’s application for a license to operate the dispensary, including certification of state-required security and other measures.

If rezoning is approved by the council and the state approves the license and certifies the security measures, Green Wellness Releaf would establish and operate the dispensary in a back portion of the building.

At the July 25 meeting, Mayor Bill Hennessy clarified that the bill is for rezoning only and that a site plan with specific security measures would be filed later. The second reading and vote for approval will be on the council’s agenda for Aug. 8, providing enough time for Green Wellness Releaf to formally apply by Aug. 17 for the state licensing process.

During the public hearing and council member comments, the most significant point related to the sale and use of marijuana still being against federal law, even though the federal government has chosen not to enforce that statute in the 23 other states that already have approved medical marijuana.

On March 28, the city council had approved a medical marijuana land use plan, specifying where such facilities can be and cannot be located, such as minimum distances of 750 feet away from schools, daycare centers and churches.

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