City retains 400-foot setbacks

Count Hannibal among the growing list of Missouri communities that are prepared should the medical marijuana industry come calling.

The Hannibal City Council gave final approval Tuesday night to zoning ordinance changes that outlined where the product can be grown, tested or dispensed. The setback distance from churches, schools and daycares is set at 400 feet from property line to property line. The ordinance changes approved by the city council will prevent marijuana facilities from being established in residential areas or the historic district downtown.

A request was made at the council's April 16 meeting to extend the setback to 1,000 feet.

According to Amendment 2, unless allowed by local government, no new medical marijuana cultivation facility, testing facility, dispensary facility or infused-products manufacturing facility shall be located within 1,000 feet of any existing elementary or secondary school, child day care center or church.

Randall Crawford of the Missouri Hemp Improvement Company was the only member of the public to speak Tuesday night regarding the city's proposed medical marijuana ordinance. He said 400 feet is a "good number." Some communities, such as Kirksville and Brookfield, have gone with zero setbacks, according to Crawford.

"I think what you have done is a great compromise," he said.

Crawford said residents need not be concerned about the medical marijuana industry's product falling into the wrong hands.

"I can promise you one thing, if there is a dispensary located in the city, it will be the most monitored, secured and regulated business that you have in the city," he said, citing the regulations which must be followed for a person to secure the product and the presence of numerous security cameras that will be required inside and outside the buildings.