Sharonville City Council will consider an ordinance to prohibit retail dispensaries, cultivators, processors or businesses of medical marijuana, and has set a public hearing for its July meeting.

The meeting on July 11 will be the third, and final, reading of the ordinance. Council members will vote on the measure after a public hearing is conducted.

The ordinance follows nearly a year of discussion after House Bill 523 became effective Sept. 8, 2016. The state law authorized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and authorized the establishment of the Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The program will allow patients, with a physician’s recommendation, to use medical marijuana for a qualifying medical condition. The patient, any caregivers and the physician must be registered through the program. Personal use of medical marijuana is not allowed, and it can’t be smoked or used in any combustible way. It will be available through oils, tinctures, plant materials, edibles and patches. The program also specifies that it can’t be made or sold in a way that’s attractive to children.

The zoning of dispensaries has been left up to local municipalities, but none can be located within 1,000 feet of a school, church, public library, public park or public playground. Those regulations also apply to cultivators, processors and laboratories.

While marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance, medical marijuana has been classified as a schedule 2. This means it has no currently acceptable medical use or safety process, and has a high risk of abuse.

Law Director Mark Piepmeier explained the ordinance.

“The state of Ohio has allowed it but they also, at the same time, allowed any community in Ohio to basically ban it,” Piepmeier said, “so this legislation would, in effect, say that you cannot have a medical marijuana business within the city limits of Sharonville.”

►YOUR LOCAL LEADERS: Sharonville elected officials

The city has passed two moratoriums on permits related to medical marijuana as elected officials gathered information and reviewed the city’s zoning code. The current moratorium will expire in July. If the ordinance passes, the legislation requires a 30-day effectivity, so council will vote on a third, though short, moratorium to bridge the gap. The ordinance, if passed, will take effect Aug. 10.

The July 11 City Council meeting and public hearing, at the Sharonville Municipal Building, 10900 Reading Road, will begin at 7 p.m.

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