The Blue Springs City Council held a continuation of the public hearing held at their last meeting regarding the amendment of city code in relation to medical marijuana.

During the May 20 meeting, the council agreed to divide the full bill detailing how medical marijuana would be implemented into the city. The detached portion of the bill related to the downtown development code, and separating it from the full bill allowed the Downtown Review Board to review the proposed changes and make their recommendations to City Council.

According to council documents, the board held a meeting on May 28, voting unanimously to recommend their approval to the proposed changes, allowing medical marijuana dispensary facilities in the downtown development code as a permitted use. The board also recommended the council allow medical marijuana testing facilities to fall under permitted use.

Council member Kent Edmondson said the review board also expressed their desire to see the council look at reducing the mandatory buffer separating medical marijuana facilities from schools and churches exclusively in the downtown area. However, the council was only able to consider the already proposed amendments to the city code. Any future reduction in the buffer would require further study and discussion. Currently, these facilities must remain 1,000 feet away from churches and schools, mirroring state regulations.

The council approved the separated section of the bill, allowing medical marijuana facilities as a permitted use in the downtown district.

While the council has approved medical marijuana regulations in the city, the state is still accepting and processing applications for dispensaries and testing facilities. According to council discussions, the implementation process will likely last into 2020. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, only 192 dispensary facilities will be granted a license within the state. Also, only 60 cultivation facilities will be licensed, as will only 86 marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities.