A six-month moratorium that Hilliard City Council placed on medical-marijuana cultivation sites, processing facilities and retail dispensaries will expire Nov. 22.

Rather than extend the moratorium, City Council on Nov. 20 established a policy for the location of such sites.

Councilman Bill Uttley said “significant hurdles” exist at the state level to secure medical-marijuana licenses and marijuana has “proven medical benefits.”

“I don’t see a need to (further) restrict it,” he said.

Hilliard’s legislation limits medical-marijuana dispensaries to the B-2 and B-4 commercial zoning districts and locations must be at least 500 feet from any school, church, private residence or public playground, park or library.

Most of the available areas for a dispensary are north of Cemetery Road, between Lyman Drive and Interstate 270.

Cultivating and processing is permissible in rural residential zoning districts and M-1 and M-2 industrial districts with the same 500-foot restriction.

Opportunities for cultivating are possible in the western fringes of the city, though the locations of schools and residences will limit sites, city planner John Talentino said.

A medical-marijuana operation could continue as a nonconforming use if started before any residences or other disqualifying structures are later built within 500 feet, he said.

The resolution was approved 5-0. Council President Nathan Painter was absent and Councilman Joe Erb abstained.

After the meeting, council members moved into a closed executive session to discuss personnel issues.

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