The towns of Glocester and Johnston have zoning ordinances that prohibit MMj patient and caregiver grows even though they are compliant with all the RI state laws and regulations.
Glocester has an ordinance that prohibits caregiver grows, co-ops and any potential compassion center. Patients may still to grow 12 mature plants and 12 seedlings but are required to obtain zoning certificates from the town and are subject to inspections. Among other requirements, the grow space must have two exits and be more that 10 feet from heating source. Read the full text – you may have to cut and paste the following into your browser: http://ecode360.com/documents/GL2062/source/LF952390.pdf
The Johnston ordinance lets patients and caregivers grow but only in their own residences, which are now defined as “mmj facilities” subject to: fire department inspections, building department inspections (where appropriate) and obtaining zoning certificates and special permits from the town. The ordinance allows town officials and the Johnston police to enter the homes of patients and caregivers who are growing with no notice and no warrant. Grows are not allowed unless they: have security alarm system, two means of egress, are NOT in a basement, and are not within ten (10) feet of a heating source.
Patient and caregiver grows cannot be within 1500 feet from churches, schools, park, playground, youth center, day care or location where youth congregate. Even if the grow is more than 1500 feet away, the town can still deny a special permit if it determines there would be an “adverse effect”. Grows must also be 1000 feet from town lines.
The ordinance also requires “proper” ventilation to mitigate the risk of mold, carbon filter to reduce odors, smoke alarms/detectors installed in accordance with State Fire Code and/or to the satisfaction of the Fire Department. Must be “sufficiently buffered” so grow will not “adversely affect” surrounding residential uses. Exterior of building must be consistent with neighborhood “to prevent blight and a decline in property values”. Must be 2,000 feet from any future compassion or cultivation center.
No smell. No noise. Grow must be “imperceptible” from the outside. Cannot try to “enhance THC”. Cannot extract any “chemicals or oils from the usable or unusable marijuana”.
Both the Glocester and Johnston ordinances conflict with the RI MMj Act. We do not believe they are legal. We won our lawsuit against Smithfield and were hoping these towns would rescind their ordinances in response. They have not. If you are a patient or caregiver in Glocester or Johnston and you would like a confidential conversation about your options and the possibility of a lawsuit, please contact the ACLU 401.831.7171 or JoAnne at RIPAC: joanne@RIpatients.org. For more info, you can also attend the patient meeting this Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7pm in Johnston at 1192 Plainfield Street (APWU Hall). You must have patient or caregiver MMj card to attend.