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Columbus, OH 43215


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Council to Update City Code for Medicinal Marijuana Sales, Distribution, Processing

Code Changes Help Integrate Sale, Processing and Distribution Facilities Safely into Neighborhoods

[COLUMBUS, OH] As authorized by state law, the use of Medical marijuana will be permitted by individuals that have one of 22 debilitating diseases with a physician’s recommendation. Columbus City Council wants to make sure Medical marijuana is seamlessly integrated into the community. On Monday, December 3, 2018, Council will vote on legislation to define where medical marijuana dispensaries can be located, proximity and operation requirements and most importantly, a process to communicate with neighboring residents.

“Protecting the safety of our community while ensuring individuals with qualifying conditions have access to the appropriate treatment is paramount,” said Councilmember Priscilla Tyson. “Medical marijuana is a natural health solution backed by science. Creating a strong foundation for healthy communities is our charge as Council. It must be done responsibly.”

The legislation specifies zoning districts for medical marijuana uses:

  • Growers and processors would be allowed in the three manufacturing districts;
  • Dispensaries would be allowed in C4* commercial districts;
  • Medical marijuana testing labs would be allowed in C2* commercial districts.

The legislation also requires dispensaries to obtain a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) Special Permit to operate. The permit costs $1,900. To receive the Special Permit the business must meet the following conditions:

  • Maintain at least 500 feet from another dispensary;
  • Notify by mail property owners that are within 250 feet of the dispensary parcel;
  • Present company background, opening date, operation schedule, business emergency contact name and number to the local area commission or civic group.

Failure to meet the specific requirements will result in denial of the BZA Special Permit.

The state of Ohio legislature which approved medical marijuana in 2016 has allocated 5 dispensaries for Franklin County. The current state-approved locations are: 111 Vine Street, 1361 Georgesville Road, 656 Grandview Avenue, 2950 N. High Street and a property on Cassady Avenue at the intersection of Johnstown Road. The Columbus Development Commission recommended approval to Council during their October 11, 2018 meeting.



*C4 is the city’s most prevalent commercial zoning district allowing a large array of commercial uses including restaurant and retail.

*C2 is a more restrictive commercial zoning district allowing office uses and medical testing labs.  No restaurant or retail operations are allowed in C2 districts.