Bentonville Planning Commission Clarifies Medical Marijuana Zoning


The approval of medical marijuana facilities in Northwest Arkansas has brought the need for clarification on where the buildings can go.

On Tuesday night, the Bentonville City Planning Commission approved an ordinance that specifies where medical marijuana facilities can be located.

Shelli Kerr is the Bentonville Planning Services Manager, who said that in order to clarify the boundaries of dispensaries, some wording needed to be changed in order to match The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016.

“What we’re doing basically is making sure that our zoning regulations are consistent with what is in that constitutional amendment,” Kerr said.

The issue arose after the city was unable to posit a definition for what constitutes a ‘pharmacy.’

“We’re basically pulling in the same definitions that were in that to make sure that we have them defined the same and that we identified the zoning districts where those would be allowed,” Kerr said.

That amendment states that the facilities need to be treated as pharmacies in regards to where they can be placed.

“We had to define pharmacy because we didn’t have it specifically in there, and so we had to define that as well as those dispensaries and cultivation facilities and then make sure they were all allowed in the same zoning districts,” Kerr said.

With the approval of tonight’s ordinance, the facilities will only be able to be built in commercial zones.

That means the facilities will not be able to be located within 1,500 feet of a school, church or daycare center. The city said it hasn’t received any applications for medical marijuana facilities just yet.

Now that the ordinance is approved, it will move to city council for final approval next week. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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