The Troy Planning Commission recommended a new medical marijuana regulation proposal for Troy to the city council Dec. 14.

The commission voted unanimously to support the proposal from city staff to ban cultivators and processors of medical marijuana but allow up to three retail medical marijuana dispensaries in the B-4 highway business zoning district.

The medical marijuana issue isn’t new to the planning commission. It previously recommended bans on cultivators and processors and allowing up to five dispensaries in city business districts except the downtown and the historic district.
The city council received a committee recommendation to amend the planning commission proposal to limit the number of dispensaries to three. However, the ordinance was amended at the council meeting to also ban dispensaries.
Council eventually failed to come up with the required votes to impose a ban. For the proposed total ban to be approved, council needed a supermajority vote because the planning commission recommendation had been changed.

Tim Davis, an assistant city development director, said the message from council appeared to be that no dispensaries was considered too few but five too many for the city.

“It is clear the city council has only a thin majority willing to ban dispensaries, which can only prevail if the planning commission so recommends,” Davis wrote in the staff recommendation. “From past meeting discussions, it is also clear that the planning commission is not willing to recommend an outright ban on dispensaries but is sensitive to protecting both the historic district and residential neighborhoods.”

The city has not received any inquiries regarding potential operators of dispensaries, Davis said.

The Planning Commission voted first to not hold a public hearing on the proposed restrictions.

It then voted to recommend the proposal for no cultivators and processors and a maximum three dispensaries in the highway business district.

“The highway district keeps it away from any neighborhoods and downtown but still allows some limited dispensing,” said Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to touch this,” commission member Larry Wolke said.

He said he considered the commission vote an “academic exercise,” but otherwise would “dig my heels in a little harder.”