Council passes resolution dealing with medical marijuana

| May 31, 2017

COSHOCTON – After much discussion, Coshocton City Council passed a resolution during a special meeting held May 30 to welcome medical marijuana manufacturing facilities and put a six month moratorium on dispensary facilities in the City of Coshocton.

Applications to establish such facilities are due to the state this month and before city officials decided their stance on the topic they wanted input from the public.

Council chambers was filled with members of the public who wanted to voice their opinions about the medical marijuana industry and those in attendance also heard from two representatives from a company interested in constructing a facility in Coshocton.

Mayor Steve Mercer opened up the meeting by explaining to those present that the state has already passed legislation legalizing medical marijuana and recently wrapped up regulations for manufacturing facilities. Regulations for dispensaries, however, will not be wrapped up until September, which is why the city’s resolution specifies the six month moratorium for them. He also informed attendees that this is a heavily regulated industry that involves the Ohio Department of Commerce, State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board of Ohio.

The representatives from a company that wished not to be named at this point in time explained that medical marijuana doesn’t have the same chemical make up as recreational marijuana so it is not likely that someone could get high off of it. Employees of their facility also would be background checked and it would be a secured location 24 hours a day. They would employ 25-50 people initially and 75-90 when they are fully operational.

After their presentations, City Council President Cliff Biggers, a former law enforcement officer, encouraged people to look past the dollar and think about the impact drugs have had on people and our community.

The medical marijuana company officials responded to Biggers by sharing that their company would be very willing to help educate children about the dangers of drugs and get involved in the school system. They also would help educate people on how medical marijuana can help people who experience seizures, have Autism, Down Syndrome, are suffering from cancer and a number of other ailments.

Coshocton resident Scott Thompson shared that he has no problem with some aspects of medical marijuana, but wondered what would come next for our community if we said yes to welcoming this industry.

“Society is getting more and more lenient with rules regarding marijuana,” he said. “Employers here are already struggling to fill job openings because people can’t pass their drug screens.”

Tiffany Swigert, another Coshocton City resident who attended the meeting, urged council to think about the jobs this could create for our area.

“We’ve lost a lot of jobs in the last 10 to 20 years and not allowing this would be a disservice to our community,” she said. “There are not a lot of good paying jobs here.”

Steve Hall from West Lafayette questioned why the city couldn’t do something other than this as a way to create jobs for the community. County resident Mike Farley agreed and wondered why the city wasn’t doing more to attract jobs.

Dorothy Skowrunski, Coshocton County Port Authority Director, reminded everyone that this business could create 40-90 jobs and have a 2 million dollar payroll.

Councilwoman Jackie Salmans encouraged everyone to think about the individuals medical marijuana could help.

“My son was diagnosed with epilepsy,” she said. “To see someone have a seizure is horrible. We need to think about the kids we can help.”

More on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program can be found at


Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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