Like many Missouri communities, Sedalia and Warrensburg have been dealing with the issue of legalized medical marijuana after voters approved amending the state constitution in November.

Sedalia Council visited the issue June 17, but tabled the matter until July 1, due to the fact there were two Council members absent that night, and also due to the fact that the state has since clarified how to measure distances from the dispensary to the affected church, school or day care.

The state issued guidelines that stipulate that the distance cannot be more restrictive than measuring from the building wall of the dispensary to the property line of the restricting facility (walking distance upon an allowable path).

The language of the proposed city ordinance has since been modified to reflect this and will be considered at Monday night's regular City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m.

The City noted that it has received input from the public as well as Planning & Zoning Commission and staff.

The topic of medical marijuana consumed most of the Warrensburg City Council meeting June 24.

August 3 is the deadline for applications for medical marijuana dispensaries, it was noted.

They were also trying to decide on buffer zones between dispensaries and schools, churches and day care facilities. One day care owner aired her concerns about the proximity of such businesses to hers. The recent clarification from the state meant that the buffer zones had to be measured by the shortest lawfully-traveled path.

A real estate developer spoke at the meeting, saying he sees no threat to schools, churches and day care facilities by medical marijuana dispensaries.

Missouri is now among 33 states approving medical marijuana and marijuana-infused products for patients who suffer from serious illnesses.  Conditions that qualify include cancer, epilepsy and psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Department of Health and Senior Services estimates medical marijuana will be available as early as January 2020.

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