Horn Lake passes zoning for medical cannabis dispensaries

Photo: Horn Lake city officials considered an ordinance to allow for medical cannabis dispensaries in certain parts of the city. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)

The City of Horn Lake is one step closer to opting into the state medical cannabis law after passage Tuesday evening of an ordinance amending the zoning ordinance to define and regulate dispensaries.  

The ordinance passed on a 6-1 vote with only Ward 6 Alderman Robby Dupree voting against it.  

“It includes the 1,700 foot limit from schools, churches or child care facilities as well as other dispensaries,” City Attorney Billy Campbell said. “It includes commercial parcels with frontage on Goodman Road, U.S. Highway 51, Nail Road East of U.S. Highway 51, Interstate Boulevard, and Dancy Boulevard east of its intersection with Pasadena Drive.”

The ordinance that was passed would permit dispensaries in areas zoned as commercial inside those parameters of location.  It also detailed requirements, such as monitored after-hours electronic devices, physical security presence, and video surveillance.  

Operational hours are from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed on Sundays and legal holidays. Only medical cannabis and educational materials may be sold inside the dispensaries.  There can be no drive-throughs and no shared space with other businesses.  

With Tuesday’s passage, the ordinance will go into effect on April 7, one month from the vote. One other vote is still required however, and that is the resolution to officially opt into the dispensary portion of the state’s medical cannabis law. That resolution comes before the Board of Aldermen at its next meeting in two weeks, Campbell said.  

Horn Lake was one of the Mississippi communities to opt out of the law when it was passed in the 2022 Legislative Session.  Southaven was another DeSoto County city to opt out, but by doing that, they had the opportunity to opt in at any time. Both cities have been working toward that point and with Tuesday’s vote, Horn Lake is now at the doorstep of jumping into medical cannabis.  

Answering a question from Dupree before the vote, Campbell said any property along the listed roadways that is not currently zoned commercial can be rezoned commercial and a dispensary placed there. 

“Even if they’re not zoned commercial today and were rezoned commercial in the future, they would have that ability,”  Campbell said.  

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