Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite is worried about one omission within the recently-passed medical marijuana invoice the Mississippi Legislature despatched for Gov. Tate Reeves’ signature.
In his Mayor’s Report at Tuesday night time’s Board of Aldermen assembly, Musselwhite expressed his assist for medical marijuana, however the invoice that Gov. Reeves signed didn’t give zoning authority to the cities for the dispensaries that may start to pop up and promote the substance to these legally in a position to buy medical hashish.
Cities in Mississippi have till Could 2 to decide out of permitting medical marijuana to be offered inside their metropolis limits. Musselwhite advised aldermen that he would advocate Southaven decide out till it receives the authority to arrange zoning ordinances for medical marijuana companies.
“I voted sure for Initiative 65, not as a result of I believed it was written completely however I believed it was higher than doing nothing,” Musselwhite stated. “Cities should have zoning authority. There isn’t any enterprise in our metropolis that doesn’t must abide by zoning laws. It didn’t occur for dispensaries.”
If an modification is handed to incorporate zoning within the medical marijuana invoice, Musselwhite stated he and planning officers have already got plans to find dispensaries in what is taken into account the Medical District of Southaven.
“Proper now, dispensaries can go wherever that’s zoned industrial within the metropolis,” Musselwhite stated.
The mayor stated many dispensaries may probably be concentrated within the authentic West Finish sector of Southaven, the place property values should not as excessive as elsewhere, with out zoning. Alderman Charlie Hoots stated he’s had conversations with involved individuals within the space, who’re apprehensive about that, as nicely.
“I really like the thought of protecting it within the medical district the place it’s in a condensed space,” Hoots stated. “For security and the whole lot else, I feel it could be higher.”
Musselwhite stated he’s additionally apprehensive about felony will increase within the West Finish with that potential focus of areas for medical marijuana.
“We border one of the crime-ridden cities in America and our police combat it on a regular basis,” the mayor stated, referring to Memphis. “It’s extra harmful in some elements of town and within the West Finish, it’s a much bigger problem.”
No motion was taken Tuesday night time, however Musselwhite requested aldermen to contemplate the problem for a potential opt-out vote sooner or later.
“It makes me nauseous to say what I’m about to say as a result of I’ve labored so laborious and tried to advocate so laborious for medical marijuana in our metropolis,” the mayor stated. “I’m pro-medical marijuana however moreso, I’m pro-Southaven. The way in which the invoice is true now, I don’t suppose we’ve any selection however to decide out.”
Mississippi cities have the 90-day window to decide out, however can decide again in at any time. Musselwhite hopes the legislature will amend the invoice and provides zoning authority for dispensaries again to the cities.