Tipp City council agreed Jan. 3 to a total ban on cultivating, processing and dispensing medical marijuana in the city and approved a 3.75 percent pay increase for City Manager Tim Eggleston.
After discussions at its Dec. 19 meeting and Jan. 3, council unanimously imposed the medical marijuana ban after noting that it would remain in effect at least until more is known about state rules and regulations for medical marijuana.
A state panel will formulate the rules and regulations during the next few months with implementation anticipated in September 2018. The state law approved last year by the Ohio General Assembly included a provision allowing local governments to control whether cultivation, processing and/or dispensing would occur within their borders.
Council was among several local governments that in the fall imposed 180-day moratoriums on any permits for medical-marijuana related activities while regulations were drawn up.
“Most communities are taking a wait and see attitude,” Eggleston told council before its vote.
He said the city has not been approached by any business interested in a medical marijuana operation.
The city planning commission in December reviewed information and voted to recommend council impose a ban.
Police Chief Eric Burris told council he believed “wait and see” would be the thing to do because there are more questions than answers at this time. Among those questions are security of processing facilities and background checks on those applying for permits, he said.
Councilman John Kessler said he “would like to see the state make up their mind … Let them make the rules and be held accountable.”
Eggleston said council could impose a ban and then continue to discuss the issue and options while the state panel draws up the rules and regulations.
Councilwoman Carrie Arblaster said she was concerned council would be “legislating against something we don’t understand.”
“There are just a lot of questions. We are already dealing with controlled substances that are raising havoc in our community,” Arblaster said. “It is important we are prudent in how we approach it.”
Before council’s vote, President Joe Gibson said the city needed “something on the books in case we get a request, application.”
In other business Jan. 3, council unanimously OK’d the pay increase for Eggleston. His salary was increased to $3,876 biweekly from $3,736 retroactive to Nov. 16. No other changes were made to the contract.
“I appreciate council’s support,” Eggleston said.
He has been city manager since late 2014.
“You are doing a great job,” Councilman Matt Owen said.
Mayor Pat Hale thanked Eggleston for his efforts and congratulated him for the pay raise.
In other business:
- - Council said it would not request a public hearing on the application for a new D5I liquor license for 2 Lunas, LLC, doing business as Dos Lunas, 12 S. Tippecanoe Drive.
- - Hale thanked residents who serve on the city’s boards and commissions and noted there are several vacancies to be filled. Anyone interested in possibly serving can contact the city manager’s office at the Government Center.