The four proposed medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington are within the correct zoning district for that type of business.

Sal Maniaci, Washington community and economic development director, said marijuana dispensaries are permitted by city code to be located in commercially zoned districts.

Listed are the locations of the dispensaries that have submitted applications for permits through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS):

• Columbia Care MO, LLC, 1380 High St., Washington;

• Crown Wellness, LLC, 715 Jefferson St., Washington;

• Missouri Health & Wellness, LLC, 10 Franklin Ave., Washington; and

• White Earth Inc., 1115 E. Fifth St., Washington.

According to Maniaci, the marijuana facilities most closely resemble pharmacies and clinics in the city code.

“A dispensary can fit into pharmacy use or a medical outpatient clinic — either definition can fit,” he said. “And both of those can be located in C 1, 2 or 3.”

DHSS released locations of proposed dispensary, cultivation and manufacturing facilities last week. Countywide, there are 33 proposed sites where medical marijuana businesses are looking to open.

Maniaci said the city is not adopting any ordinances “above and beyond” the state law.

In Washington, all facilities will be at least 1,000 feet from a church, school or day care, which complies with state law.

“Other communities actually lessened or extended requirements,” Maniaci said. “We have decided to find a fit into existing definitions.”

There is one proposed facility, located at 1380 High St., that is close to St. Francis Borgia Regional High School. Maniaci said the state will decide if that falls within 1,000 feet of the school.

“It would depend on if you go from door to door, or if there is a buffer zone,” he said. “We will verify the zoning district but we will not verify distance — it is actually the same process as a liquor license.”

The responsibility will fall on the state to determine if that dispensary is outside the 1,000-foot requirement.

“We don’t want the liability of approving or denying based on something the state would dispute,” Maniaci added.

If there were to be a cultivation or manufacturing site in Washington, it would be required to be industrial-zoned districts. 

Shelter Location

The proposed dispensary located at 10 Franklin Ave. was the subject of discussion among the council and community members earlier this year.

The Franklin County Homeless Task Force (HTF) sought that location for a homeless shelter. The building is the former office of Dr. David Brunworth and Dr. Tim Baker, and before that Dr. Sam Farrell.

HTF scrapped plans for a shelter at that location after changes to city code that limited the zoning district where shelters can be located. 

State Permits

The state is required by the law to approve at least 60 commercial growers, 86 facilities that manufacture marijuana-infused products and 192 dispensary licenses, 24 dispensaries for each of the state’s eight congressional districts.

There were no applications filed for testing labs in Franklin County. There will be 10 facilities in Missouri licensed to test medical marijuana.

All of Franklin County is in the 3rd Congressional District. The district includes Lincoln, Warren, Montgomery, Callaway, Osage, Gasconade, Maries, Miller and Cole counties. There also are portions of St. Charles, Jefferson and Camden counties in the district.

The state has received 2,163 online applications. In addition, there were more than 100 businesses that reportedly had trouble applying to the state through the website.

According to DHSS, a third-party blind scorer will review and score the Evaluation Criteria Scoring Questions for all facility applications, stripped of any identifying information. Applications must be approved or denied for licensure by DHSS within 150 days of the application submission date.

The state expects to start licensing businesses in December.