Belle aldermen approve three medical marijuana ordinances

Ordinances include employee policy, medical marijuana offenses, planning, zoning

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 5/20/20

BELLE— The Belle Board of Aldermen on May 12 approved a city employee medical marijuana ordinance with a 2-2 vote, the mayor broke the tie.

Ordinance 590, a personnel policy of the Belle …

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Belle aldermen approve three medical marijuana ordinances

Ordinances include employee policy, medical marijuana offenses, planning, zoning

Posted

BELLE— The Belle Board of Aldermen on May 12 approved a city employee medical marijuana ordinance with a 2-2 vote, the mayor broke the tie.

Ordinance 590, a personnel policy of the Belle City Code to address medical marijuana, Chapter 2, Section 2.1 pertaining to alcohol and controlled substances testing policy and prohibitions, was discussed in open meeting. Alderman Courtney Abel started the conversation by opposing points in the amended ordinance.

“So we wouldn’t allow any employees here that have a medical marijuana card?” Abel asked. “What is the difference between medical marijuana, and taking something like Xanax or any other controlled substance on a regular basis?”

Board members were silent and Mayor Josh Seaver said he doesn’t know what the difference is, but he knows there are a lot of businesses that won’t stand for it.

“I foresee that coming up, that is discrimination,” she said.

Seaver argued that there are a lot of companies that don’t allow their workers to work while using medical marijuana. Abel said she agreed, there are.

“But that is one thing that I don’t understand, and I could care less about medical marijuana or marijuana being passed. But we are stating right here that ‘if you use medical marijuana we are not going to hire you,’” Abel said. “There is to me no difference in testing positive for medical marijuana and police officers on Adderall, which is the same thing as prescription meth. That is something that I see being a problem.”

Alderman Jeanette Struemph added that if an employee was not prescribed something before there were hired, but are prescribed medical marijuana later, will they be fired?

“They will wonder ‘will I lose my job now because I am using medical marijuana?’” Struemph said.

Abel said it will be something that they will have to address later on, and she foresees this ordinance being a problem.

Terry Connors, the mayoral candidate in the June 2, 2020, elections, interrupted the meeting.

“I just have to say that Missouri law references marijuana and that it has to be distributed by a Missouri licensed pharmacy in the state of Missouri,” Connors said. “So just because they have it don’t mean it’s legal.”

Alderman Ken Stanfield asked if the user has to have a Missouri medical permit. The board said yes.

“It is the same as when you move to a different state, you have so long to get your license changed,” Abel said.

Abel argued that they couldn’t punish someone for testing positive for medical marijuana when it is prescribed.

Seaver read the ordinance title and the board made a motion and second to waive the second reading, which was approved. Seaver asked for a motion to approve Ordinance 590. Alderman Tony Gieck made a motion and Stanfield seconded. Both Gieck and Stanfield voted yes while Struemph and Abel voted no. Seaver broke the tie with a yes and the motion passed.

“I think it could use a little more clarification,” Struemph said.

The board also approved Ordinance 591, article XI — amending Belle City Code’s offenses concerning drugs to include medical marijuana offenses. The ordinance outlines what happens should someone in the city fail to produce a medical marijuana card, prohibits persons from administering/ingesting marijuana in public, outlines the definition of “administer” through types of products, and the required disposal methods of medical marijuana.

Should anyone fail to produce a medical marijuana card immediately upon request of any law enforcement officer, produce a valid identification card issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, or its successor, authorizing him or here, as a qualifying patient or primary caregiver, or employee of a licensed medical marijuana facility, to access medical marijuana as provided by the Missouri law, shall be guilty of violating section 210.1900 of the ordinance. The crime is punishable by a fine of up to $150 and up to 30 days in jail.

Administration of medical marijuana means the direct application of the product to a qualifying patient by the way of any of the following methods:

Ingestion of capsules, teas, oils, and other marijuana-infused products;

Vaporization or smoking of dried flowers, buds, plant material, extracts or oils;

Application of ointments or balms;

Transdermal patches and suppositories;

Consuming marijuana-infused food products; or

Any other method recommended by a qualifying patient’s physician.

In cases of disposal, any person who disposes of medical marijuana or medical marijuana-infused products in violation of the provisions of 19 CSR 30-95 shall be guilty of violating this section, and the punishment is up to a $300 fine or up to 30 days in jail.

The board approved a motion 4-0 to waive the second reading of the ordinance. The board approved a motion and second to pass the ordinance with a 4-0 vote.

The board also approved Ordinance 592, amending ordinances 400 and 405, chapter 20 in the city’s municipal code for planning and zoning rules. The focus of the ordinance is on medical marijuana-related businesses in regards to noise, air quality, neighborhood safety, security, other health and safety concerns, and time, place and manner restrictions on medical marijuana facility operations.

Ordnance 592, Section 1 defines the following: child care centers, churches, marijuana or marihuana, marijuana-infused products, medical marijuana cultivation facilities, medical marijuana dispensary facilities, medical marijuana-infused products facilities, medical marijuana, testing facilities, qualifying patients and schools.

Section 2 defines the neighborhood business district regulations - B. Use of regulations amending Section 405.110, B. (19), in reference to medical marijuana dispensary facilities.

Section 3, 405:130 defines light industrial district regulations - B. The amended regulation adds medical marijuana-infused products facilities, cultivation facilities and testing facilities.

Section 4, Chapter 405 Zoning regulations Code of Belle is amended to add standards for medical marijuana dispensary facilities, medical marijuana-infused products facilities, medical marijuana testing facilities, standards for medical marijuana cultivation facilities, and standards for all types of medical marijuana businesses, which shall read as follows:

No medical marijuana dispensary shall be located within 750 feet of a then-existing elementary or secondary school, child daycare center or church. Measurement shall be in a method consistent with the city’s existing liquor license measurement standard.

Onsite usage prohibited. No marijuana may be smoked, ingested or otherwise consumed on the premises of medical marijuana dispensary buildings.

Hours of operation. All sales or distribution of medical marijuana and any other products sold to the public through a medical marijuana dispensary shall take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Dispensaries shall be secured and closed to the public after the hours listed and no persons not employed by the dispensary may be present in such a facility at any time it is closed to the public.

Display license required. Dispensaries are licensed by the state of Missouri and shall be prominently displayed in a highly visible location, easily seen by patients on the dispensary’s sales floor.

Site plan review. Dispensaries shall meet the city of Belle’s Code with standard new construction requirements.

Dispensaries shall comply with all requirements specified in the Missouri Constitution, state laws, and the rules of the Department of Health and Senior Services, Division 30 — regulation and licensure, Chapter 95 — medical marijuana.

A second additional article and section amendment approved the standards for medical marijuana-infused products facilities and testing facilities. No building shall be constructed, altered or used for a medical marijuana-infused products facility or medical marijuana testing facility without complying the following regulations:

Distance requirement: no facility shall be located within 750 feet of a then-existing elementary or secondary school, child daycare center or church. Measurements shall be in method consistent with the city’s existing liquor license measurement standard.

B. Outdoor operations or storage. All operations and all storage materials, products or equipment shall be within a fully secured area inside the building structure or outdoors on the property in an area enclosed by a razor-wire fence at least 10 feet in height, not including the razor wire.

Onsite usage is prohibited.

Hours of operation. The facilities shall be closed to the public between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. No persons not employed by the business shall be on the premises at any time without being approved entry and logged in the building security personnel and are required to obtain a visitor pass.

Display of license required. The medical marijuana-infused products facility and testing facility licenses issued by the state of Missouri shall be displayed in a prominent place in plain view near the front desk of the facility.

Site plan review. Any plans for any facility shall meet the city of Belle Code standard new construction requirements.

The facilities shall comply with all requirements specified in the Missouri Constitution, state laws, and rules of the Department of Health and Senior Services, Division 30 — regulations and licensure, Chapter 95 — medical marijuana.

A third additional article and section to be added to the amendment included standards for medical marijuana cultivation facilities.

A distance requirement of 1,000 feet from existing elementary or secondary school, state-licensed child daycare center or church.

Outdoor operations and storage must be held within a secured area inside the building structure or outdoors on the property in an area enclosed by a razor-wire fence at least 10 feet high, not including the razor wire.

Onsite usage is prohibited.

Hours of operation for cultivation facilities shall be closed to the public between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. No persons not employed by the business shall be on the premises at any time without benign approved entry and logged in by the building security personnel and are required to obtain a visitors pass.

Display licenses issued by the state of Missouri are required to be displayed in a prominent place in plain view near the front entrance in a cultivation facility.

Site plan reviews are required for any plans for an indoor medical marijuana cultivation facility and shall meet the standard new construction requirements of the city of Belle code. Any outdoor cultivation facility shall meet the standard requirements for any other crop, except as otherwise set forth herein. No outdoor cultivation facility shall be permitted within 1,000 feet from any residentially zoned property.

A fourth additional article and section to be added to the amendment included standards for all types of medical marijuana businesses. The purpose of the regulations being to provide a uniform set of standards for location and development of facilities intended to produce and distribute marijuana/cannabis as required by the Missouri Constitution and regulation by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The intent of these regulations is to protect the public health, safety and community welfare while allowing the development of centers for the regulation and controlled production and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes while ensuring that the provisions of the state and city law are met.

No medical marijuana dispensary shall be located in a building that contains a residence.

All medical marijuana shall install and operate a ventilation system that will prevent any odor of the marijuana from leaving the premises of the business. No odors shall be detectable by a person with a normal sense of smell outside the boundary of the parcel on which the facility is located.

All site plans will need to be submitted for review and approval, which shall include a description of the ventilation system to be used to contain odors within the building.

In addition to the city code of ordinance regarding signage, the following shall apply to signage for medical marijuana facilities:

Facilities shall not use signage of advertising with the word “marijuana” or “cannabis” or any other word, phrase or symbol commonly understood to refer to marijuana unless such word, phrase or symbol is immediately preceded by the word “medical” in type and font that is at least as readily discernible as the other words, phrases or symbols.

Facilities shall not advertise in a manner that is inconsistent with the medical use of medical marijuana or use advertisements that promote medical marijuana for recreational or any use other than for medicinal purposes.

All medical marijuana facilities shall follow the security requirements including at minimum, lighting, physical security, video, alarm requirements and other minimum procedures for internal control as deemed necessary by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Other conditions may apply by the Planning and Zoning Commission (Board) that are within the scope of approval by the board pertaining to parking, setbacks, and other zoning regulations.

The board moved and approved to waive the second reading of Ordinance 592. The board approved the ordinance with a 4-0 vote.

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