Elida council passes first reading of cannabis ban

ELIDA — Elida Village Council took the first steps toward a ban on the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana in the village Tuesday.

Council members unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit “adult use cannabis operators, including adult use dispensaries” and any level of commercial cultivation, processing or sale of marijuana within village limits.

“The ordinance is just for banning the sale and cultivation [of marijuana],” Elida Mayor Darryl Nichols said. “Everybody else has the same rights that were passed by the state.”

The village council originally considered drafting this legislation at its April 9 meeting, considering similar ordinances passed in the city of Fairfield and in West Chester Township in Butler County.

“We also referenced the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State, which put out a large study on this for the entire state dealing with reaction from the legislature,” Elida Village Solicitor Barry Schroeder said. “Council reviewed all of that information, as well.”

As uncertainty persists concerning how state law will treat any potential bans or moratoriums on marijuana cultivation and sales in the wake of the passage of State Issue 2 last year, council members hope that by going through the entire three-reading process for this ordinance, along with the 30-day waiting period after final passage before this ordinance would take effect, there may be a clearer understanding of how the ordinance as currently worded will stack up against what state legislators decide.

“If something happens, this could be easily changed,” Nichols said.

Schroeder noted that this ordinance would only apply to commercial cultivation and sales and would not apply to any home growth for personal use.

The ordinance will go to a second reading at the next scheduled Elida Village Council meeting.