WARRENSBURG — Changes to city ordinance are being drafted following the recent vote to approve changes to Missouri’s rules on medical marijuana.

Director of Community Development Barbara Carroll explained to the City Council during the June 24 meeting that the State of Missouri finalized the rules on medical marijuana in May and that changes to the local ordinance would make the process easier to determine where medical marijuana related use can be in Warrensburg.

Information given to the City Council explained the two amendments to the current ordinance are the method used to measure the distance between specified properties, such as a school, and any facility with a marijuana-related use; and the creation of a new use category for a Medical Marijuana Transportation Facility.

The current ordinance was adopted Jan. 14.

Under the current ordinance, a medical marijuana dispensary may not operate within 1,000 feet of a school, day-care center, church or public library; a dispensary may not operate within 500 feet of any establishment that is licensed as a city government building or another dispensary, except if marijuana sales represent less than 5 percent of the sales in a state or federally licensed pharmacy; a dispensary may not operate within 250 feet of an establishment licensed to sell liquor by the drink; and a dispensary may not operate in a residential zone.

The changes to the ordinance will not alter the distance definitions put in place by the previous ordinance, but will change the method of how those distances are measured, impacting a few locations that were on the edge of boundaries using the previous method, Carroll said.

The amended ordinance went before the Planning and Zoning Commission on July 1 and will go before the City Council on July 8.

A discussion, requested by Jerry Franklin, took place during the City Council meeting June 24.

Franklin said he would prefer a medical marijuana use facility to be zoned like a pharmacy, rather than restricted, as the substance is medical in nature.

As a part of the discussion, City Manager Harold Stewart expressed his concern that the current rules for medical marijuana would be “grandfathered” in if recreational marijuana become legal in Missouri.

Staff Writer Sara Lawson can be reached by emailing or by calling (660) 747-8123.

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