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Ohio approved a medical marijuana dispensary in Beavercreek, but there’s one more key hurdle before it opens

An Arizona-based medial marijuana company has one more hurdle to overcome before opening a dispensary in Beavercreek.

A public hearing on Harvest of Ohio LLC of Tempe, Ariz., and its plan to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 4370 Tonawanda Trail is set for tonight at the city’s planning commission meeting.

Residents and other interested parties will be provided three minutes to address the five-member panel and testify on the issue.

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The planning commission could vote one of three ways on the issue: Allow the business, not allow it or table the issue until next month, said Beavercreek City Manager Pete Landrum.

“(The planning commission) cannot take into consideration that it’s medical marijuana. They are not being asked to consider that,” Landrum said. “If it is a detriment to the neighborhood, the public can say it’s because of medical marijuana, but the planning commission is not judging it based on the type of business.”

Harvest of Ohio LLC was awarded a license by the state to operate a dispensary at the Beavercreek location, but the potential business must comply with the city’s zoning code for conditional use of the property.

The code includes a number of requirements that the business will need to adhere to before a permit is issued. Those conditions include the minimum number of parking spaces needed, the height of light poles, business signs and traffic flow.

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“Conditional uses are generally businesses that are not that common and that can vary enough in terms of traffic and the intensity of the business to warrant an individual look,” said planning commission member Michael Self.

The Tonawanda Trail property features a 2,835-square-foot office building. It formerly served as a plumbing business but has been for sale for about two years.

Harvest of Ohio LLC has made an agreement with the owner to buy the property for the asking price of $395,000. It plans to add a median in the parking lot for landscaping and to accommodate a light pole, which cannot be taller than 16 feet to comply with neighborhood business zoning restrictions, according to planning commission documents.

The company would also take out an aging brick wall along the northern border of the property and add a six-foot privacy fence, which would separate the business from the nearest residence.

Self said the commission will need to make sure the business complies with not only the city’s zoning code but also state regulations on medical marijuana businesses.

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“We’re kind of picky in Beavercreek about our approvals,” Self said.

The city council recently voted to change the zoning code as part of a permanent ban on medical marijuana businesses. Any change to the zoning code will go through a process that includes public hearings and three readings of the proposed legislation.

Harvest of Ohio LLC’s business application was submitted and approved to the state during a time when no moratorium on medical marijuana businesses in Beavercreek was in place, so the current resolution would not impact its ability to operate in the city.

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