Medical cannabis ordinance details to be discussed

Supervisors to hold a public hearing on an ordinance and zoning regulations June 24

The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the county’s planned Medical Cannabis ordinance and zoning regulations on Friday, June 24, beginning at 8 a.m. 

County Director of Planning Bennie Hopkins and Community Resource Director Christie Barclay presented a summary of both the ordinance and zoning regulations being proposed during Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.  

The county is moving forward to enact the ordinance and zoning regulation after its decision to opt into the new state law allowing regulated production, sale and consumption of medical cannabis. The discussion Monday was only about the ordinance and zoning for the unincorporated area of DeSoto County. Southaven and Horn Lake have opted out at this time and Olive Branch and Hernando are putting together ordinances and regulations for their cities.  

Barclay provided supervisors with information on the state law, known as Senate Bill 2095, or the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. Barclay pointed in particular to the powers under the law that allows counties the ability to enact local ordinances and counties can set penalties for violations of their medical cannabis ordinances and regulations. 

With that, Hopkins presented the ordinance and zoning regulation proposals for supervisors to consider. 

General provisions under the ordinance include business licensing, location requirements to ensure it meets restrictions for distance between churches, schools, or daycares, and that everything submitted to the state must also be provided to the county.  

An application fee of $1,000 must be paid and an annual renewal fee is $500.  

Site plan information must be provided and there is a plan for remediation that is detailed if a business has been inactive for 12 months or more.  

County code enforcement must be allowed to inspect the facility, which must be done by county officials during business hours with at least 24 hours notice.  

The ordinance summary also detailed hours of operation and enforcement penalties for violations. 

The zoning summary took note that no facilities may operate in an AR, or agricultural zone. All cannabis facilities are considered businesses and must have a hard-surface access road or driveway. A site plan must be submitted and the same applications and reports sent to the state must also be submitted to the county.  Site prohibitions remain concerning locations near churches, schools, or daycares.  There were also highlighted details about zoning specifics for cultivation and processing facilities, dispensaries, disposal, research and testing, and transportation.  

The public hearing on Friday, June 24 at 8 a.m. will be held in the boardroom at the County Administration Building in Hernando.  

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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