City turns down Kearney Street marijuana dispensary zoning applicant – Springfield News-Leader

CLOSE Story Highlights A local entrepreneur wants to convert a sexy lingerie shop into a medical marijuana dispensary. But city officials say it’s too close to a nearby elementary school.

Along with applying for state health department licenses, medical marijuana businesses like dispensaries must seek city zoning approval if they want to locate inside Springfield city limits.

Since Springfield City Council approved marijuana zoning rules in the spring, almost 50 applicants for dispensaries, cultivation operations and manufacturing outfits have filed paperwork with the building development services department. About 30 have been given the go-ahead, climbing a first hurdle before state license applications begin to be accepted in Jefferson City. 

But in recent days, for the first time, the city turned down an applicant. 

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A zoning application to convert In the Garden of Eden at 734 W. Kearney St. into a medical marijuana dispensary was turned down by city officials because they say it’s too close to Watkins Elementary School. (Photo: Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader)

Local entrepreneur Jason Hemingway filed an application to convert In the Garden of Eden, a boutique that sells sexy lingerie and other adult products at 734 W. Kearney St., into a dispensary operated by OWG II, LLC. (The building was formerly a Hudson Hawk barbershop.)

It’s the only legal marijuana-related project in Springfield to face a zoning roadblock so far, city officials confirmed Thursday.

The issue centers on how far a dispensary building may stand from a school.  Amendment 2 imposes a blanket 1,000-foot buffer between marijuana businesses and schools, places of worship and day cares, though it allows cities to make the distance smaller.

St. Louis, for example, has no buffers.

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