City of Poteau enacts marijuana ordinance

Stock Photo Courtesy Pixabay
Ken Milam
News Reporter

The city of Poteau is putting new rules into effect to regulate medical marijuana use and sales.

The ordinance, which is effective immediately, sets permit fees and restrictions for commercial sellers and growers as well as those growing it for personal use. Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788 in June, legalizing medical marijuana.

As of Oct.1, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority said it had approved 6,535 licenses — 5,111 patient, 36 caregiver, 469 dispensaries, 719 growers and 197 processors — statewide.

No proposed locations in Poteau have been announced publicly. One planned site in Shady Point has been announced on social media.

Under the local ordinance, personal users inside the city limits will be required to purchase a $50 permit each year. Commercial permits will be $2,500 annually.

Personal users will be able to grow marijuana only in their residence, and growing marijuana can’t be visible from a public right of way.

Entries to the residence must be locked at all times unless the permit holder is there. Renters must have the property owner’s permission. Retail establishment must be located in commercially zoned areas, and can’t be within 1,000 feet of a school or preschool or within 300 feet of a church.

Dispensaries will be required to remit the 3-cent city sales tax on all sales. Hours of operation will be limited to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and must be closed on Sundays as well as Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4 and New Year’s Day.

Commercial grow operations must be enclosed and located in an industrial zoned area. They require security fence at least 10 feet high and gates must be locked. Similar restrictions will apply to marijuana wholesalers and storage facilities. Storage facilities also are required to have electronic security systems.

All facilities must meet city building and fire codes. A facility could be declared a public nuisance if it produces “light, glare, heat, noise, odor or vibration that is detrimental to public health, safety or welfare or interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of life and property,” the ordinance states.

All permits will be subject to inspection by the city. The ordinance also prohibits use of marijuana on city property, including vehicles, buildings, parks or other facilities.