County Takes Hit On Marijuana Proposal

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Gila County’s first hit on the marijuana issue was sort of a bust. The board of supervisors was to review a proposed planning and zoning ordinance on regulating marijuana dispensaries and growing for alleviating medical problems at its March 1 meeting.

Bob Gould, director of the county’s community development office, said the staff and planning and zoning commission had put in many hours on the proposed ordinance. It was reviewed by the Arizona Department of Health Services and concerns were raised about some of the proposed requirements, including:

• If a caregiver or qualified patient lives within 25 miles of a dispensary, they cannot cultivate medical marijuana on their property

• Conditional Use Permit application fees for a dispensary or designated caregiver cultivation site is $5,000

• Permit fee for a Conditional Use Permit for a qualified patient cultivation site is $1,000

• Regulation of medical marijuana infusion (manufacturing) — incorporating the medical marijuana into baked goods, food stuffs and/or beverages

Due to the concerns, Gould recommended the supervisors send it back to the planning and zoning commission.

Supervisors Tommie Martin and Shirley Dawson agreed the county could not put in place fees that would prohibit legal action.

Don Ascoli, chairman of the county’s P&Z commission, suggested a joint work session between the supervisors and commission to go over the ordinance once it was revised to address the state’s concerns.

The planning group will work on the issue at its March 17 meeting and a work session with the planners and supervisors will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 29.

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