Less restrictive medical marijuana dispensary setbacks than originally proposed were unanimously adopted by the Salem Board of Aldermen at a special meeting Thursday night.
After a public hearing, the city planning and zoning commission recommended a 500-foot setback from schools, church, daycares and parks for a new zoning code affecting any dispensaries proposed in the city limits. Members had proposed a 1,000-foot setback at a workshop earlier in the week.
Dispensaries are only permitted in commercial zones and must be licensed by the state.
Aldermen approved the new zoning restrictions in ordinance form at their meeting following the hearing. The ordinance also set guidelines on how the 500 feet will be measured, along with operating hours and restrictions on manufacturing and cultivation facilities.
Dispensary operating hours were limited to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Employees are not allowed on site after hours.
Manufacturing facilities, where marijuana-infused products are made, are limited to the Masters Industrial Park, as are any cultivation facilities. Only greenhouses can be used to grow marijuana. Hours are limited to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
All operations and storage of materials and products must be inside a fully enclosed building. Equipment such as forklifts, loaders and trucks may be stored outside.
No marijuana can be smoked, ingested or otherwise consumed on the premises of any medical marijuana–infused product manufacturing or cultivation facility during business hours. Facilities must be closed to the public between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The 500 feet buffer on dispensaries is measured from the external wall of the dispensary closest to the school, daycare, church or public park to the closest property line of those protected entities. If the entities are part of a larger structure, like a strip mall, the distance is measured to the entrance or exit. The