The Chillicothe City Council has voted unanimously on an ordinance, which will “regulate the time, place, manner of cultivation, manufacture and dispensing of medical marijuana.”

The Chillicothe City Council has voted unanimously on an ordinance, which will “regulate the time, place, manner of cultivation, manufacture and dispensing of medical marijuana.”

Over the last several months, the council has engaged in lengthy discussions about local ordinances, and what a city is allowed to do in regards to the growing and dispensing of medical marijuana within the Chillicothe city limits.

City Administrator Darin Chappell, says it is important that residents keep in mind medical marijuana was passed by voters across the state, including in Livingston County.

“There are some people who are upset and think “we” are not doing enough to stop this,” he said. “This is not just a legal endeavor it is it a constitutionally protected endeavor. The city council cannot make this not happen.”

Medical marijuana appeared on the November 2018 ballot as State Constitutional Amendment 2 and was passed by Livingston County voters with 54.18 percent of voters approving the amendment, for medical marijuana to be legal in the state of Missouri.

The council passed, Chapter 650: Medical Marijuana, on Monday night. In the ordinance, Chappell said hours of operation and acceptable location are laid out.

The dispensary can not be in a residential area or within 100 feet of schools, daycares or churches and the business can only be open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Existing city ordinance also prohibits the sale of alcohol within 100 feet of schools, daycares and churches.

Chappell said that for several weeks, if not months, the city has been fielding calls from a variety of businesses and groups asking about the city’s ordinances in regards to the growing, manufacturing and sale of medical marijuana. He noted that he suspects the city will have at least one dispensary and growing operation.

“In Chillicothe, I believe we will have at least one, if not two dispensaries,” he said. “And I would venture to say there may be a growing or manufacturing operation in town, in the appropriately zoned area, as well.”

However, Chappell said due to the state’s regulations and application process it will still be months before residents will see any of these types of operation actually starting in the city.

On June 4, the state made facility application forms available; those can be submitted on Aug. 3. The state will then work to first approve applications for those wishing to grow and manufacture, as those operations take the longest. Chappell said he suspects at the beginning of 2020 dispensaries will begin to open across the state and in Chillicothe.

“The ordinances the city council has passed and the timeline we are facing, is very much like what cities of all sizes are facing,” he said.