Johnston Public Hearing Tonight

Public Hearing tonight on Johnston ordinance TONIGHT, Monday July 10 at 7:00 PM. at the Johnston Municipal Court Building located at 1600 Atwood Avenue, Johnston.  Apologies for last minute notice.Ordinance would allow both patients and caregivers to still grow but only in their own residences, which are “mmj facilities”.  They can only grow if they submit to fire department inspections, building department inspections and obtain a zoning certificate from the town. Renters must provide notarized statement from their landlords granting permission to grow to the town. Grows will not be allowed unless they meet following requirements:

security alarm system (no specifics)

Two means of egress

No basement grows

Grow Area cannot be within ten (10) feet of a heating or other ignition source such as an electric, propane, natural gas or oil fired furnace or as required per manufacturer specifications

“Proper” ventilation to mitigate the risk of mold

Carbon filters required to reduce odors.

Smoke alarms/detectors installed in accordance with State Fire Code and/or to the satisfaction of the Fire Department.

Home grows would be considered “facilities” and the town would have access as follows: Right of Entry for Inspection. A Town Inspector or Building Official may enter to inspect any Medical Marijuana Facility if there is a reasonable belief that any provision of this ordinance or the Medical Marijuana Act has, is, or will be violated.

No smell. No noise in Johnston Here’s another Johnston innovation:

That the cultivation and growth of Marijuana could in no way perceptible outside the Medical Marijuana Facility including. This includes, but is not limited to, odors or noises related to the cultivation and growth of Marijuana.

Ban on trying to enhance THC     Here’s a unique and confusing prohibition:

That the Medical Marijuana Facility is not being used and could not be used to enhance the effects of the Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) in the Cardholder’s useable or unusable Medical Marijuana.

 

Making Safe Concentrates – Prohibited  :  Extracts using compressed combustible gas (butane) is illegal under state law. The ordinance echoes that but goes further to prohibit extracts that are effective medicine and are safe to make:

That the Medical Marijuana Facility is not being used and could not be used to extract any chemicals or oils from the Cardholder’s useable or unusable marijuana.

 

Johnston thinks it could take away a caregiver or patient’s legal status “A violation of this Ordinance shall result in the loss of legal status in the Town of Johnston as a patient or caregiver cardholder in accordance with RIGL 21-28.6. All inspectors, officials, and/or Fire Marshalls, shall be required to report a violation of the provisions of this section to the Rhode Island Department of Health”.

We don’t believe Johnston could legally void anyone’s legal status.  DoH  is responsible for administering the MMj Act, not local ordinances.

RIPAC and the ACLU filed a joint letter with the Johnston Town Council opposing the ordinance.  If you live or know anyone in Johnston, please ask them to attend the meeting or contact their representative on the town council to let them know that this ordinance undermines the state MMj ACT and will cause legitimate patients and caregivers to close their gardens, leaving patients without access to their medicine.  We are fortunate to have options in RI. Compassion centers don’t work for all patients. Let them know that DBR is regulating patient and caregiver grows and they should invite representative from RIPAC and DBR to educate them about the MMj Program before they take actions that will hurt patients.  We understand that it is not safe for patients and caregivers to speak publicly about their plants don’t want anyone placed in harm’s way. You don’t need to be a patient or a caregiver to speak out on behalf of patients.

RIPAC, Smithfield MMj patients and the ACLU have a case pending against the town of Smithfield for its MMj ordinance.

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