ST. MARYS — Medical marijuana was the topic of discussion Wednesday at the old Noble School in St. Marys where the Auglaize County Township Association held an ice cream social.
Andrew Augsburger, an assistant county prosecutor who is running for Auglaize County Municipal Court judge, was on hand to provide the association and residents with legal advice on medical marijuana cultivation.
He said townships can adopt a resolution barring the growing of medical marijuana within township limits.
There are already 184 applicants for cultivation licenses, of those 24 will be approved, said state Rep. Craig Riedel, R-Defiance. There will be 12 large facilities and 12 smaller ones to start with, Riedel said.
There are a lot of issues that still need to be worked out before cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana can commence, he said.
For instance, there is a question of how these facilities will find financing to be built because it’s illegal for banks to give loans to grow an illegal substance, Riedel said. While medical marijuana might be legal under state law, marijuana itself is still illegal under federal law.
In addition to the 24 cultivation facilities, there will be about 60 distribution centers in the state, he said.
“People could drive as far as 45 minutes or more to get their medical marijuana,” Riedel said.
Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon voiced concerns about distribution centers breaking the rules just to make a sale.
“While I do share the sheriff’s fears,” Riedel said, “I’m confident the rules that are going to be in place will be strict and stern enough to keep things like that from happening.”
He did go on to say there is some concern as time goes by the rules will become lax and corruption will begin seeping into distribution centers.
“We need to keep a tight rein on this horse and not let it get away,” he said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds 567-242-0362