Dayton extends marijuana moratorium another six months

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DAYTON — The City Council voted Monday to extend a marijuana moratorium for another six months to give the city time to develop zoning regulations.

The Council voted unanimously to continue the moratorium following a public hearing on the issue. No one spoke at the hearing, said Mayor Craig George.

The city initially adopted a six-month moratorium on Sept. 23, 2013, that prohibited marijuana retail, processing and growth operations within the city. But city planner Karen Sharer said the city hasn’t been able to develop zoning regulations yet and had asked for another six months to complete the process.

The city is working with Columbia County to develop regulations, since the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services to Dayton. The county approved a yearlong marijuana moratorium on Sept. 18, 2013 and is just now beginning to consider regulations.

A working group of city and county officials plans to have a first draft of marijuana regulations for the Dayton Planning Commission to review by mid-April.

Earlier this month Sharer said the working group’s goal is to develop regulations for Dayton and Columbia County, not to decide whether recreational marijuana businesses should be allowed. That issue is up to the city and county’s planning commissions.

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