On Thursday, March 28, the Springfield Planning & Zoning Commission held a meeting to discuss proposed zoning ordinances for medical marijuana facilities including cultivation, testing, manufacturing, and dispensary facilities that are to be located within the city limits of Springfield. Mary Lilly Smith, Director of Planning & Development, provided proposed rules for all facilities and answered questions from the Commission, followed by an open forum to the public.
Ms. Smith first provided the proposed general standards that apply to any medical marijuana facility. She noted the proposed rules provide that all medical marijuana businesses shall be closed to the public between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM, and that no persons not employed by the business shall be on the premises and no sales or distribution of medical marijuana shall occur upon the premises during that time. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted to change this to also allow contractors on the premises as many of these businesses will be operating 24 hours per day and removed all time restrictions on dispensaries.
Next, the general standards for separation were discussed. Missouri Amendment 2 provides that “unless allowed by the local government, no new [medical marijuana facility] shall be initially sited within one thousand feet of any then-existing elementary or secondary school, child day-care center, or church. Ms. Smith discussed how this would be measured. In a free-standing medical marijuana facility, the distance will be measured from property-line to property-line. If the facility is in a multi-tenant building, such as a strip center, the distance will be measured from the property line of the school, childcare center, or church to the facility’s entrance or exit closest in proximity to the school, childcare center, or church. Further, for dispensary and certain manufacturing facilities, it is proposed this distance requirement be lowered to two-hundred feet.
The ordinance provides that cultivation facilities, which are likened to a greenhouse operation, are permitted to operate in the following zoning districts: highway commercial, commercial services, restricted industrial, light industrial, general manufacturing, heavy manufacturing and industrial commercial.
The ordinance provides that testing facilities, which are likened to medical testing labs, shall be permitted in all industrial districts.
The ordinance divides medical marijuana-infused products manufacturing facilities into two categories: Type-1 extraction facilities and Type-2 post-extraction facilities. A Type-1 extraction facility is a facility which uses combustible gases, carbon dioxide, or other hazardous substances in the marijuana extraction process. These facilities shall be permitted in general and heavy manufacturing zones. A type-2 post-extraction facility is one which uses marijuana extractions to incorporate into edibles, ointments, etc. and does not use combustible gases, carbon dioxide, or other hazardous substances. These facilities will be permitted as either a retail sales use or manufacturing use depending upon its scope and volume of production, facility capacity, and the primary customer (i.e., retail or wholesale).
A dispensary facility, which is likened to a pharmacy, is permitted in general retail, commercial, industrial, and manufacturing zones, as well as downtown Springfield and commercial street. As previously stated, a dispensary is required to be two-hundred feet from a school, daycare center, or church, under the proposal. City Council will conduct a public hearing on April 8 and vote on the proposed zoning amendments on April 22, 2019.