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Manchester considers substitute medical marijuana legislation

The Manchester Board of Aldermen presented the first reading of a substitute ordinance on Oct. 7 related to medical marijuana facilities within the city.

An original form of the legislation was introduced at the Sept. 16 board meeting. The substitute bill was presented to address the inconsistencies of proposed hours of operation with other pharmaceutical providers in the surrounding areas.

An amendment to Missouri’s Constitution was approved by voters last November to allow patient access to medical marijuana and allow the limited production, distribution, testing, sale and purchase of marijuana for medicinal purposes statewide.

The legislation presented by the city restricts the placement of dispensaries to no less than 1,000 feet from the property line of an existing elementary or secondary school, child daycare or church.

Such facilities would be located within the city’s Planned Light Manufacturing/Industrial Development District, created to ensure that high-quality light industrial/manufacturing developments will not disturb the quiet enjoyment of Manchester’s residential neighborhoods; will not contribute to traffic congestion on Manchester, Big Bend or Sulphur Spring roads; and will be of an intensity, location and nature as to be compatible with its surroundings.

Where developments abut a residential district, specific buffer guidelines are provided for the rear and side lots.

If passed, the ordinance specifies that all sales and distribution of medical marijuana and any other products sold to the public through a dispensary shall take place only from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The ordinance will be voted on at the board’s Oct. 21 meeting.

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