Local Government

Canton Board of Aldermen exploring possible medicinal marijuana ordinance

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 19, 2019 3:40 pm

CANTON, Mo. -- The Canton Board of Aldermen is looking into the possibility of adopting an ordinance to regulate any future sales of medicinal marijuana.

Mayor Jarrod Phillips said Missouri cities are limited in what they can do to regulate marijuana sales under a new state law approved by voters last year.

"There are very few things a city can actually legislate," he said.

For example, cities can specify setback requirements, hours of operation and some other general guidelines. "But you can't zone it out of your community," he said. "That's in the state statute."

Under the new law, medicinal marijuana sales may begin Jan. 1 in Missouri, and cities across the state have been adopting ordinances to exert a certain amount of local control.

"We don't have any indication that anybody would want to put a cultivation center or a dispensary here, but we feel it might be prudent to be prepared in case somebody would be interested in doing that in the future," Phillips said.

The board sent the matter to its Police Committee for review.

Also at its monthly meeting, the board addressed several issues involving the city's plans to convert the former Golden Ruler building at 400 Lewis St. into a new City Hall and then renovate the existing City Hall exclusively for Police Department operations.

The board approved some paperwork needed to seek $1.7 million in "certificates of participation" to buy the Golden Ruler building through a lease-purchase arrangement and then carry out the proposed renovations.

The certificates also will be used to refinance some improvements at the city's wastewater treatment plant and to build a new public works headquarters on city-owned property at the intersection of White Street and Route B.

The paperwork was needed for the city to sell certificates of participation to prospective investors.

"It's telling potential purchasers of our debt what our position is within the city so that they know we're a good risk and that we're stable," Phillips said. "This is just one of the many steps we have to take."

The board also reviewed and accepted an audit of the city's finances as another step needed to push ahead with the financing.

The board reviewed proposed floor plans for the new City Hall. Phillips said he hopes the city will be able to seek bids for the project by February or March with the hope of getting on a contractor's construction calendar for late summer or early fall.

In a related matter, the board agreed to allow Jim and Ginny Oliver until March 1 to remove all remaining furniture and equipment stored inside a second building the city bought from the couple north of the Golden Ruler structure. The building was originally slated to be vacated by Jan. 1, but the Olivers told city officials they needed a little more time to get everything out.

The board also agreed to buy and install a plaque honoring the memory of Clark Minor Irven, the only Canton Police Department officer ever killed in the line of duty. Irven died in the late 1800s when attacked by a prisoner who tried to escape custody.

"He died as a result of those injuries," Phillips said.

The plaque will be hung in the police station after the building is remodeled. A dedication ceremony will be held during an upcoming open house.

The board agreed to issue a "request for proposals" from firms interested in becoming the city's next garbage collection contractor. The board hopes to review proposals at its January meeting.

The contract with the city's current provider, Republic Services, expires March 31, 2020.