The Sedalia City Council approved a medical marijuana ordinance Monday night after it was tabled two weeks ago.

Since then, Community Development Director John Simmons inquired about the measuring standard with the state of Missouri and was told to measure from the building wall of the dispensary to the property line of the restricting agency, not as the crow flies, or a straight line.

A buffer zone of 1,000 feet between any medical marijuana dispensary and a church, school or day care is the recommended distance, according to the state, it was noted. Council decided to stick with that recommendation, meaning an allowable travel path between the two.

City Administrator Kelvin Shaw said the preferred locations for such a facility would be on Highway 65 between 32nd and Highway 50, or somewhere on Broadway, or on West Main. He said a highly-visible location with regular law enforcement presence driving by is preferred. The zoning should be C-3, which is the most restrictive for retail, which would keep the facilities as far away as possible from residences.

The worst-case scenario for a location would be across from Smith-Cotton High School, Shaw stated.

Shaw noted that the City can control the hours of operation, the zoning and the buffer zones of medical marijuana facilities. He added that local municipalities may reduce a buffer zone, but may not increase it.

Missouri voters approved a medical marijuana law in November. Now numerous cities are dealing with the issue of how to control it. Shaw noted that up to 24 such facilities will be allowed in each congressional district. He anticipates that the application process will be a highly competitive one. The DHSS (Department of Health and Senior Services) will accept applications Aug. 3 – 17.

The fee for a retail medical marijuana facility in Missouri is reportedly $6,000. The fee for opening a cultivation facility is $10,000.

Once patients obtain a doctor's certification that they meet Missouri's qualifying conditions, they will have 30 days to apply and pay a $25 fee to the state.

Randy Kirby