Will Purcell’s third attempt to draft a medical marijuana ordinance be a charm?
The devil, it seems, is in the details.
The city’s first ordinance approved Oct. 1, 2018, lasted just five weeks before undergoing a major overhaul of permissible locations for retail marijuana businesses, commercial growing facilities, wholesale facilities and marijuana storage facilities.
Those ordinances also set business hours – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, while also mandating the businesses be closed on New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The ban on Sunday sales, however, wasn’t enforced until January 1 this year.
Steve Reeves, who owns a medical marijuana dispensary in Purcell, told the Purcell City Council at Monday’s meeting that his shop makes $16,000 to $18,000 in Sunday sales every month.
If the Sunday ban continues to be enforced, Reeves said he will close the store here and direct his customers to another store he owns in Norman.
The result will be the loss of two jobs and sales tax revenue for the city.
“Do you really want Norman to get the taxes?” he asked.
Reeves and city council candidate Bill Boyle both spoke, addressing an agenda item to possibly amend the restriction on the days medical marijuana establishments can be open.
Reeves accused the council of adopting the existing ordinance without public input.
“I’m sick and tired of this town doing things behind closed doors,” Reeves said.
Mayor Ted Cox reminded Reeves that he personally invited him to the meetings in late 2018 at which the ordinance was adopted and amended.
Cox’s recollection is Reeves replied he was too busy to attend the meetings.
“I said stick to (SQ) 788,” Reeves countered, insisting he never told the mayor he was too busy.
Reeves told the council he doesn’t think there should be any restrictions on when medical marijuana dispensaries are open.
Boyle asked the council to give dispensaries the “same consideration as other pharmacies.”
“There are less problems with marijuana dispensaries than regular pharmacies,” he added.
During discussion of the agenda item, city attorney Ted Haxel called for a 60-day moratorium on enforcing hours restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries.
“It’s Walgreens with a different name,” Haxel said.
“You cannot zone them out of existence,” he continued. “You have to treat them (as pharmacies). In the not too distant future, you can go into Walgreens and buy it.”
Council member Graham Fishburn’s motion to impose a moratorium on enforcement and table the item “until we have a chance to revamp the entire ordinance” drew the support of his fellow council members, but not Cox.
The mayor voted no, stating his belief that it’s not the council’s role to govern enforcement of an ordinance.