Vice Mayor Nancy Smith
To the editor:
The 2/16/21 City Council decision was NOT a “NO” to marijuana dispensaries in Maricopa. It was so much more! It was a decision to allow time for public input and to understand all the elements associated with marijuana and Prop 207. Many seem to think that Prop 207 has only to do with dispensaries or the sale of marijuana. However, it’s also about mass grow locations, processing and selling. Prop 207 also allows for local control, which is important because there are many decisions to be made around this proposition. So, the decision by the City Council allows for public input on these important decisions and to make the decisions that are appropriate for our community. If the city had not acted in the manner it did on Tuesday night, and if the state, in the meantime, makes the decisions for us (because we didn’t take any action), the public would get NO input. We would have to follow the rules of the state instead of the rules put forth by our community.
You may ask: What are these decisions that need to be made? Isn’t it as simple as opening a dispensary and selling marijuana?
Here’s an idea of what some of these decisions include:
Where can farmers grow marijuana in the city? There is an odor in grow areas. Do you want a farmer to grow next to your neighborhood or should there be city code that controls that? Grow sites also look like prisons due to the protection required. Do you want to look at that?
2. Where can marijuana be processed? Is it acceptable to have processing in the store where it’s sold? There can be an odor during processing.
3. Hours of operation?