Marijuana dispensary sparks concerns

Marietta City Council began the discussion Wednesday of traffic flow and security in preparation for the coming medical marijuana facility at the corner of Greene Street and the Williamstown Bridge.

The property is being purchased by Cannascend, as a part of the awarding of medical marijuana dispensary state-authorized locations. The location will operate under the Strawberry Fields brand, which the company’s legal counsel Ted Bibart explained Wednesday.

Local commercial real estate broker Karen Strahler voiced some concerns though at the Wednesday’s meeting.

“My concern is while the marijuana location meets the requirements on paper, the schools rent that stadium from the college,” said Strahler. “And I contacted (the Ohio Department of Transportation) and there’s 22,000 cars that go through that intersection a day, the most traffic is from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.”

Councilwoman Kathy Downer spoke to her intention for the location to be posted with a right turn only entrance from and exit onto Greene Street to address the traffic concern, but explained that the state had already authorized the location of the dispensary, of which the city has no control over.

City Law Director Paul Bertram explained that the Marietta City Schools lease of Don Drumm Stadium isn’t considered under state statute as a conflict.

“Marietta College has owned Don Drumm for the last 16 years and while yes MCS does have a lease for specific use, the stadium is not public,” he explained.

Bibart also explained that the strict regulation of the new medical marijuana industry in Ohio will be adhered to not only in a lack of advertising, but in the security measures the business plans to install including security cameras, a three-picture system that documents not only the purchaser but also the employee making the sale and the screen of the company computer documenting the

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