Goodyear Council Restricts Medical Marijuana Cultivation On Legally-Usable Property

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, October 10, 2016 - 8:48am
Updated: Monday, October 10, 2016 - 9:53am
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If you want to grow medical marijuana, state law stipulates where you can.

The Goodyear city-owned land near Cotton Lane and Indian School Road meets those legal requirements. The City Council recently rezoned the property in anticipation of selling it, as it is in a burgeoning development area along the Loop 303 corridor.

Because it is in a flight path from Luke Air Force Base, the military had to approve what could go there, and they said no to a dispensary, but yes to a medical marijuana cultivation — the reasoning is to keep fewer people in that area in case of an accident. For example, a warehouse would be fine but a fairgrounds would not.

After discussion, Goodyear city officials decided to take out the option of a growing operation on the property, a zoning restriction that will carry over for the next property owners.

Councilmember Bill Stipp was the lone vote against the restriction.

“For us to, in my opinion, arbitrarily limit a business, that’s not our judgement," Stipp said. "Our judgment is pretty clear that it’s based on what’s allowed by the law.”

Arizona law said cities are allowed to enact reasonable zoning restrictions on where medical marijuana is grown and distributed.

But Ryan Hurley, attorney for the campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, doesn’t think this is one of them.

“In this particular instance it appears that that justification is that they simply didn’t like it, which is probably unreasonable, in my opinion,” Hurley said.

Hurley said a property owner could potentially bring a case against Goodyear, but that it is unlikely.

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