BUCYRUS – With the impending legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio, Bucyrus lawmakers are pondering restrictions within city limits.

How restrictive they can be, though, is still a little uncertain, according to Bucyrus Law Director Rob Ratliff.

“It’s legal, but the state is still setting up the rules as to how to implement it. It’s kind of a weird time right now,” Ratliff said. “Because the state hasn’t issued all of its rules yet, cities are kind of scrambling because they don’t know yet what their rights are going to be.”

The matter is scheduled to be discussed during the May 2 meeting of the Bucyrus City Council. Ratliff said the city has until Sept. 8, 2018 to set any limitations.

“Through zoning or other land use situations, much like they do through adult oriented businesses, they can vote to either allow or not allow those businesses to exist,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff said there are three different types of businesses that could be formed by legalization of the medical use of marijuana: cultivators, processors and retailers. He said some governing bodies are viewing marijuana as a cash crop that can be farmed.

The only legal way to ingest the drug will be by eating it. The city does have the right to limit consumption of marijuana, and even block it within city limits. Lawmakers can also prohibit where businesses that sell marijuana can be situated within the city.

“There’s a number of states that are going through the process — a lot of cities are having public hearings to consider this,” Ratliff said. “Some cities went with outright bans, and others are placing restrictions, such as not near schools.”

Ratliff said they can also regulate when the businesses are allowed to operate.

Where people who qualify to use medical marijuana can consume the medication is still to be determined. Ratliff said the state has not yet decided if residents will be required to eat the product inside the businesses that sell it, or if they will be allowed to take it home.

ztuggle@gannett.com

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Twitter: @zachtuggle

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