Russellville Prepping for Possible New Medical Marijuana Business

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark (KARK) -- Russellville is taking steps to possibly welcome new business with the passing of the Medical Marijuana Amendment, last November.

The planning commission wants to model a potential medical marijuana dispensary zoning code after the city's pharmacy zoning code.

James Briggs, who has called the city home a little more than 60 years, is on board with the growing change.

"I think it should be allowed," said Briggs. "I think since it's a state law that's been passed, we need to go ahead and comply with the state law and provide, what's been providing for people who are sick."

City attorney, Trey Smith said the planning commission voted unanimously on Monday to give potential medical marijuana dispensaries the same zoning code as pharmacies.

"It's something that the city is trying to deal with because it was passed by the people in the State of Arkansas," said Smith.

Marijuana dispensaries can't be within 1500 feet of a church, school or daycare.

"It's just having a permit place in to give the planning commission and city council more discretion should one be proposed in a commercial zone," said Smith.

Smith said the city planner proposed a slight change that would prevent a dispensary from opening up next to, something like, a rehab center.

"It's nothing that's too overwhelming or nothing like that," said Smith.

Briggs hopes medical marijuana dispensaries do, eventually, pop up in his neighborhood.

"I have a couple of friends that have cancer," said Briggs. "So, I'm real sensitive about that and anything that can help them I am for."

The city council is expected to vote on the planning commissions proposal next month.

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