Tuesday 25th June 2024

Glasgow City Council takes steps to prohibit cannabis businesses after lengthy meeting

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The Glasgow City Council convened on June 10th for a meeting that extended for an hour and a half, predominantly due to an extensive discussion on the prohibition of cannabis business operations within the city. This ordinance discussion comes on the heels of a new state law, effective January 1, 2025, that legalizes medical cannabis in Kentucky.
The council’s discussion began with eight members present and one member, Patrick Gaunce, attending via zoom. While present Gaunce did not participate in discussion nor did her vote.
Kevin Myatt, director for the Joint City-County Planning Commission was called to speak before the council as he has been a cornerstone to the education of local municipal leaders explaining that the law gives municipalities and county courts the option to “opt-in,” allowing dispensaries, or “opt-out,” banning all cannabis operations.
City attorney Rich Alexander summarized the choices that lay before local governments.
The debate over the ordinance saw council members expressing various concerns and perspectives. Those in favor of opting out emphasized that even should the council opt-in and be unhappy with the results they would be barred from ever opting back in, whereas should they opt-out then they will be free to opt-in at any point in time in the future as Councilman Terry Bunnell suggests.
Councilmember Max Marion, who voted against the opt-out, argued not just from a place of “fear on missing out” but also pointed to the dangers of patients travelling to dispensaries in other areas and having to travel back home.
Councilman Joe Trigg, who has done extensive research offered his view on the item.
After thorough deliberation, the council voted 5-3 to opt out, thereby prohibiting any cannabis businesses from operating within Glasgow’s city limits. This ordinance will need a second reading before it is officially enacted.
In addition to the cannabis ordinance, the council addressed two resolutions to apply for grants aimed at improving city infrastructure and supporting local initiatives:
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant: The council approved applying for this grant, which would fund the construction of a new bridge for landfill use. This project aims to enhance the city’s infrastructure and promote sustainable practices.
Grant for Kentucky Agriculture: The second resolution involved seeking funds for Sustainable Glasgow, a local nonprofit. The grant would enable the organization to build a dedicated farmer’s market structure, as they currently operate around Glasgow Square. This new facility aims to provide a permanent venue for local farmers and vendors, boosting the local economy and community engagement.
Director of Sustainable Glasgow, Griffin Botts, spoke to the council about the success of the market, when compared to others in the region.
This Glasgow City Council meeting highlighted the complexity and varied viewpoints surrounding the legalization of medical cannabis.
Meanwhile, the council’s approval of grant applications underscores its commitment to enhancing city infrastructure and supporting local community initiatives.
The next meeting of the Glasgow City Council is scheduled for Monday, June 24th.
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