Dublin City Council is expected to review two ordinances that could affect the sale of tobacco and medical marijuana in the city.

The tobacco ordinance is scheduled for a first reading at Council's meeting Monday, April 24, and a second reading and public hearing at the May 8 council meeting, said Jennifer Readler, city law director.

The Dublin Planning and Zoning Commission will need to consider the medical marijuana ordinance prior to City Council reviewing it, Readler said.

The ordinance is tentatively scheduled for a first reading May 22 and a second reading and public hearing June 12.

Council members April 10 voted to have city staff members prepare an ordinance to make it illegal for retailers to sell tobacco to those under the age of 21.

Council at the end of February had asked staff to prepare information and draft sample legislation.

Sample legislation prepared for council states illegal distribution of cigarettes, other tobacco products or alternative nicotine products to those younger than 21 would be a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

Those who previously were charged with selling nicotine or tobacco products to those younger than 21 would be charged with a third- degree misdemeanor.

Councilman Tim Lecklider said banning tobacco sales to those younger than 21 would align with Dublin's goal of being a healthy city.

"This seems to be consistent ... with that effort on our part," he said.

Lecklider said he hopes a proper education effort about the ordinance would reduce the need for police enforcement.

Councilman John Reiner also said he approved the idea of a ban of tobacco sales for those younger than 21 and said he saw no reason council shouldn't pursue the ordinance.

Readler previously said other communities that have passed similar legislation include Columbus, New Albany, Upper Arlington, Bexley and Grandview Heights. The majority of those cities' legislation was passed in 2015.

Marijuana

At their meeting April 10, council members also gave staff members direction to draft legislation banning retailers, cultivators and dispensaries of medical marijuana.

The ban would be in response to Ohio House Bill 523, which allows those with qualifying medical conditions to use medical marijuana for treatment.

Readler said final rules for the bill must be complete on or before Sept. 8 and the program must be operational on or before Sept. 8, 2018.

At the end of last year, the city held off on a moratorium to monitor the development of state rules related to standards and procedures, Readler said.

Since that time, Readler said she has become concerned the rules wouldn't adequately protect the city from secondary effects of the law because marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

If council members approve a medical marijuana ban, Dublin would join a handful of cities that took similar action.

Upper Arlington in October passed a 12-month restriction on local cultivation, processing or dispensing of medical marijuana.

Also in October, New Albany approved a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana related business.

Later that month, Bexley approved an 18-month moratorium.

In December, Grandview approved a six-month moratorium.

Conversely, in August Johnstown council members voted to not prohibit or limit medical marijuana operations within the village.

That community is home to Apeks Super Critical, a company that manufactures equipment to extract oils from marijuana and other herbs.

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