Columbia Township would be happy to have a medical marijuana dispensary operate in its community. Administrator C. Michael Lemon said the Columbia Township Board of Trustees passed a resolution Nov. 14 that clears the way for a medical marijuana dispensary to open in the township.
The resolution does not permit cultivation or processing facilities in the township.
Lemon said the state will allow 60 dispensaries and has allocated three of the licenses to Hamilton County. The township has been approached by potential dispensary operators and the closing window for applicants on Friday prompted action by the township, Lemon said.
The zone identified in the resolution is the Ridge and Highland commercial area, which is also a Joint Economic Development Zone. The dispensary would not be permitted in a residential area.
Lemon said if a state-licensed dispensary locates in the township, it would bring enormous economic benefits, as well as personal health benefits for those in need.
“There have been numerous studies in recent years that show how medical marijuana has significant beneficial effects for those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and other serious ailments,” he said. “This would be a win for individuals within the township who endure these medical conditions and would be a resource for people all across the county.”
Lemon said township officials were approached about the potential project within the last month, He said the clinics projected they could do as much as $50 million in business by the third to fifth year of operation.
“This will serve as a win-win for everyone involved. It’s a win for those that are experiencing certain medical conditions, as well as provide comfort to their families by providing the knowledge that they are in less
pain,” Lemon said. “It will also be a win for the township as a whole, as we will experience positive economic impacts from the introduction of this business opportunity into Columbia Township.”
He said the township must make sure any dispensary is located in the appropriate place. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program stipulates that a retail dispensary is prohibited from being located within 500 feet of a school, church, public library, public playground, public park or community addiction services provider.
“Now, we hope the groups we are working with can win one of the 60 licenses from the state,” Lemon said. “We hope to hear the final results in the next 90-180 days.”
The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy finished accepting applications for dispensary licenses Nov. 17. The board received 370 dispensary applications. From these, the Board of Pharmacy is authorized to award up to 60 provisional licenses.