YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution Wednesday evening in support of a medical marijuana growing operation in the city.
Now it’s up to the state to decide if medical pot will be grown in Youngstown.
Ohio will be taking applications for medical marijuana growers through the end of the month. Then, state leaders will choose only 24 sites to be awarded cultivation licenses.
“We could get the short end of the stick in a few months on this issue,” Mayor John McNally said.
McNally agrees with council, hoping a medical marijuana cultivation facility will come to Youngstown.
“We can gain increases in property tax, we can gain increase in income tax — all from the cultivation of medical marijuana,” he said.
Last month, Youngstown heard from five medical marijuana companies interested in growing in the city.
“All of the developers have talked about — from 25, to 30, to potentially 250 jobs over the long-term,” McNally said.
While council and the mayor support the idea, not everyone at Wednesday’s meeting did.
“The disappointment was the fact that they never took the time to go to the public and ask their opinion and to get them to weigh in,” Pastor Al Yanno said.
Democratic mayoral nominee Tito Brown also has some concerns.
“As a former city council member, I have to respect their decision. They did vote 7 to 0 and that was a consensus vote. I hope we can continue to find some regulations in the future that would help with that,” he said.
Independent mayoral candidate Sean McKinney said he will address the issue at a later date.
Ohio’s Department of Commerce, Pharmacy Board, and Medical Board will regulate the pot industry.
State law says medical marijuana should be available by September 2018. Doctors can write prescriptions to people with 21 medical conditions.