Rochester City Council votes to approve cannabis ordinance

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(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester City Council put the issue at the top of the agenda and then enacted the Med City’s first ordinance for legal marijuana.

Many spoke up at Monday’s city council meeting to share their thoughts on the proposed ordinance.

“Where do the dispensaries get their cannabis from, is this cannabis trafficked into Minnesota?” Casey McGregor asked.

The ordinance would prohibit new businesses from operating in the city before January 1st, 2025.

The city said this will provide time to establish more policies.

Some worry it could hurt small businesses.

“By delaying cannabis business startups in Rochester, you are forcing our community members to establish their businesses outside of Rochester and to shop outside of Rochester,” Molly McGinnis said.

Others had concerns of a different kind.

Like worries about public safety and the overall health of people who choose to use marijuana when it becomes legal.

“I have also watched the destruction of THC cannabis with my own nephew and when he got hooked on cannabis, he kept going, he kept going and he tried harder and harder drugs,” Rebecca Springer said.

There is still a lot for the city council to figure out, like how will the ordinance be enforced and where cannabis can and cannot be sold?

They wanted to make it clear that their intention with the ordinance is to not hinder new businesses but to make sure the city is ready to enforce this policy.