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“Overkill,” Town Board guts draft ordinance on Medical Marijuana

Line by line, four members of the Luther Town Board and their attorney began crafting language for an ordinance on medical marijuana. Several members of the community came to the Special Meeting at Town Hall, and more than 1,000 watched the two-hour meeting in a broadcast on The Luther Register’s Facebook page.

“I don’t think there should be any alarm bells over this proposal. Ultimately, we will come up with something that meets the community’s needs,” said Town Attorney Matthew Winton.

Winton emphasized the proposed draft was only a beginning, and he had gathered language from many other town’s proposals that varied from being sparse to over-reaching.

“What you have is an amalgamation of those. My job is to get language in front of you,” he said. 

As they worked through the draft, the trustees stripped language such as prohibiting dispensaries on SH66, Main Street and Ash. They also cut banning dispensaries next to libraries, parks, daycares or churches. Mayor White noted that the Town’s commercial district is so small those rules would make a dispensary impossible anywhere. 

They also noted the emergency rules and law governing Medical Marijuana by the state is subject to change by the Legislature, State Health Department and Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

“I don’t want us to see us do anything more than the state statute. We don’t know what we can do and what we can’t do at this point,” said Trustee Jason Roach.

Trustee Lea Ann Jackson said some of the language seemed like overkill for Luther. With the revisions, Winton will work on a new draft that might be presented at the September 11, 2018, Regular Town Board Meeting. Still to be worked out are fees, and the amount of state and local sales taxes on retail sales.

The law governing medical marijuana prohibits retail dispensaries from being within 1,000 feet of a public or private school. Applicant Birlene Langley asked the board whether that would prevent her Vape Shop, east of Town on Dogwood but visible from SH66,  from being a location. Her state application included an online measuring tool that put her in the clear when it measured to the Middle School. However, it didn’t measure to the school district’s Agriculture Barn, likely within 1,000 feet across SH66. Trustees said that the Ag Barn has students there daily for classes and projects, so it is a school. Langley said she will pursue other locations.

Mike Henderson was one of the citizens who stuck it out staying for the whole meeting. He posted his opinion and gave permission to include it here.

Just got back from the meeting and frankly I am taken aback. They had an attorney write up this draft, and he drew from what other towns are doing, the ones screwing people over, y’all know the ones. They, for the most, stuck to the emergency rules, home grows allowed, no permits they felt that were totally wrong. They realized these rules will be changing so just go with what the state says. Another meeting the 11th and a new draft. Big shout out to the Luther Council; when I’m wrong, I’m wrong,” said Henderson.

 

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