Tulsa City Council discusses medical marijuana permits

TULSA - UPDATE: The City said there were zoning concerns, so they've decided to hold off voting in order to discuss concerns.

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The Tulsa City Council is considering a temporary halt on permits for medical marijuana licenses until changes can be made to zoning

The vote is expected to pass this evening by the council.

However several members of the public showed up to speak tonight and they were all against the agenda item.

The moratorium or temporary halt only applies to process facilities and commercial growing operations.

If approved by the city, this will prevent processors and growers from getting any kind of city license, such as a building permit or occupancy license, essentially any license the city issues.

Opponents believe this is a huge blow to small marijuana-based businesses.

The moratorium would end when either 90 days goes by or the new zoning ordinance is adopted. However, there could be an extension.

The ordinance would define zoning codes for medical marijuana processing facilities.

It states these facilities must keep at least 1,000 feet away from residential areas and not be located within 1,000 feet of another medical dispensary.

These are just a few of the guidelines opponents have an issue with.

"They're treating all processors as if they are in one category," Tulsa attorney Ron Durbin said. "They are trying to put them in commercial heavy impact zoning. What we are looking at is we are looking at people using ice water to do bubble hash, people who are using butane which is a husky explosive chemical, also looking at people who are buying extract and making cookies and brownies and trying to put them in heavy impact industrial zoning. It makes no sense to treat everybody in that classification the same."

Members of the public made it clear tonight they feel this moratorium is government overreach.

However, city officials say the proposed 90 day period is to allow the city's proposed regulations to be thoroughly discussed before the ordinance is adopted.

Opponents say they hope after public comment, the city will exercise some restraint.

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