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Tag: Ohio Marijuana

City of Bryan, Ohio Bans Cannabis Dispensaries

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Last November, Ohio voters approved an initiative that legalized the recreational use, sale, and cultivation of cannabis. Larger Ohio communities overwhelmingly approved the initiative, whereas rural communities opposed it — another blue communities, red communities divide that dominates Ohio politics.

Cannabis is legal. Using it recreationally is legal. Growing your own is legal. Legal, legal, legal, yet Bryan, Ohio’s council just passed a law that bans cannabis operations in the city.

WBNO reports:

The Bryan city council passes an ordinance to ban adult use cannabis operations in the city, but may discuss the issue again as more information is available. Council passed final reading on one ordinance which prohibits adult use cannabis operators, cultivators and dispensaries within the city altogether. It tabled another ordinance, which was also up for a third reading, which would have allowed such operations within certain sections of the city and with other limits. Council also voted down a third ordinance, which would have only prohibited those operations in the downtown area.

While the cannabis initiative explicitly allows communities to ban dispensaries within their jurisdictions, the question is this: why would a community want to do so?

Only three things should matter to Bryan’s council:

  • Is cannabis legal?
  • Will cannabis dispensaries provide new jobs?
  • Will cannabis dispensaries generate significant tax revenue?

The answer is YES to all three questions. End of discussion. Yet, council members banned cannabis dispensaries anyway. Why is that?

Elected officials are duty-bound to represent and work on behalf of their constituents. Personal beliefs and morals do not matter. I suspect what drives the council’s no vote is personal objections to cannabis use or moral (religious) objections to its use. These things should not matter. Cannabis is legal, end of discussion. Dispensaries are legal, tax-generating businesses, end of discussion. Many Bryan residents want affordable access to cannabis, and regardless of the personal/moral beliefs of council members, they have every right to buy it within Bryan city limits.

I am sure Bryan’s council might argue that their ban is meant to lessen harm. “Cannabis use is harmful!” Sure, and so is drinking alcohol, vaping, and smoking, yet these vices are sold in countless Bryan stores. Why ban cannabis, and not alcohol, tobacco, and vaping products?

I hope Bryan’s council will re-evaluate this issue and rescind their ban. I am not a Bryan resident, but I was born in Bryan and live five miles to south of Bryan in Ney. We regularly shop and do business in Bryan. I want to see my hometown flourish, and cannabis dispensaries would do just that. Several years ago, Ney had an opportunity to have a medical marijuana dispensary locate within its jurisdiction. Ney’s mayor and council emphatically said NO! and ended all further discussion on the matter. Today, there’s a dispensary in nearby Sherwood — a community that was progressive enough to see that the dispensary was good for Sherwood. Ney? Lost tax revenues and business traffic.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser