OH: Toledo Plan Commission Approves Marijuana Dispensary Permit

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The Toledo Plan Commission gave approval Thursday for a special-use permit to allow a second company to open a medical marijuana dispensary on Sylvania Avenue.

GTI Ohio LLC outlined its plan to commissioners for a retail outlet to sell medical marijuana at 3151-3157 Sylvania, which is about a half-block from another proposed retail outlet site that received council approval last month for a special-use permit.

The vote recommending approval for the permit was 4-1. Julia Bryant cast the only no vote while Catherine Hoolahan, Ken Fallows, Eric Grosswiler, and John Escobar supported issuing the permit.

GTI Ohio and Glass City Alternatives, which plans to open in a nearby former veterinary clinic at 3209 Sylvania, and 16 other applicants are competing for two dispensary licenses state officials are allowing for Lucas County.

The proposed retail sites are within 1,000 feet of each other, which is forbidden under city code. But if GTI Ohio’s special-use permit receives city council approval and the state were to approve licenses for both locations, only Glass City Alternatives would be allowed to operate, according to conditions recommended by the plan commission.

Adam Robbins, manager of GTI Ohio, said his company operates facilities in Illinois, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Pennsylvania that grow, process, and sell medicinal marijuana.

“We want to be in markets that are highly regulated and controlled. We felt it was best for the safety for our staff and patients,” he said.

According to plans submitted to the plan commission, an existing one-story commercially zoned building would be remodeled for use as the dispensary, providing six to 10 full-time and part-time jobs.

House Bill 523, which took effect Sept. 8, 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Ohio. While the legislation set a framework for the program, it left the ongoing work of establishing rules and guidelines for the cultivation, processing, testing, dispensing, and medical use of marijuana to different state agencies, according to the state Medical Marijuana Control Program’s website.

Mr. Robbins said planned security measures include cameras and electronically controlled doors to allow only medical marijuana qualified customers to enter the building.

“We take security extremely seriously. It is our top priority for not only patients but for the community at large,” he said.

The special permit request will be reviewed by Toledo City Council’s planning and zoning committee on March 14. The proposal will then be decided by the full council.