Marijuana mess

Jim Crosby, Yukon City Manager

By Alyssa Sperrazza
Staff Writer

Medical marijuana advocates spoke loudly and Yukon city officials heard their message.

An ordinance approved three weeks ago restricted medical marijuana dispensaries to a small area south of Interstate 40. That left medical marijuana advocates up in arms claiming Yukon officials were discriminating against that type of business.

Now, that ordinance is up for revision, according to City Manager Jim Crosby, who said he believes the current ordinance is too restrictive.

“There’s a deal of 1,000 feet to prevent you from a residential area and that pretty much limits everything,” Crosby said. “It just leaves a few small areas. We’re amending that be taken out…And an individual in the audience made a remark that I thought was very apropo. He said, ‘why don’t we make it like liquor laws?’ And I thought that was a really good suggestion.”

If approved by the council, the revised ordinance would remove residential areas from the restrictions and would change the 1,000 foot restriction to 300 feet from churches, museums, and parks.

The only part that would remain the same is the 1,000-foot requirement from schools so it would be consistent with state law.

“This does allow other areas to open up in our community,” Crosby stated. “I can’t guarantee them a place, but this gives a greater opportunity for a place… located north of the Interstate.”

The proposed amendments have been approved by City Attorney Gary Miller, who said the residential restrictions have been entirely omitted along with another change.

“One of the changes that we made… 214-7a was not there,” Miller said. “That has been added… It deals with processing facilities and it goes along with wholesale facilities and other things that were already there. And it simply says we’re not gonna have them. But it does open up quite a bit for the retail establishment.”

The council will discuss and vote on the revised ordinances during their next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.

A map prepared by city officials shows the original medical marijuana dispensary ordinance would limit those businesses to a small pocket south of Interstate 40 and NW 10th Street along Garth Brooks Boulevard.