Jefferson City considers regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Planning and Zoning Commission is considering regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.

In November, Missouri passed Amendment 2 to legalize medical marijuana in the state. 

In addition, the law requires cities to develop zoning regulations for the facilities that cultivate, test, manufacture and dispense medical marijuana products.

Jefferson City plans to address the issue in phases. In May, the city passed regulations for cultivation, testing and manufacturing facilities. 

Those facilities, in Jefferson City, will be regulated similarly to factories. The city decided to follow the default recommendations of the state Department of Health and Senior Services. It requires medical marijuana cultivation, testing and manufacturing facilities to be located more than 1,000 feet of then-existing elementary and secondary schools, child care centers or churches.

Thursday, the city will address zoning regulations for dispensaries. It's looking to zone those facilities in the C-2 General Commercial zoning district.

Jack Cardetti, a spokesperson for the Medical Cannabis Trade Association, said Missouri's regulation of medical marijuana facilities has been fair.

"The implementation of Missouri's medical marijuana program is going really well," Cardetti said. "What we've seen in a lot of other states is they've had a lot easier time passing medical marijuana laws than they've had implementing them."

Cardetti said the regulations for dispensaries are necessary and will hopefully change public perception of them.

"These will be some of the safest, most secure, highly regulated facilities," he said.

The city's planning and zoning commission will meet Thursday evening.