New marijuana law raises more questions

Members of the Sallisaw City Board Commissioners weren't quite sure what direction to take in dealing with how to inspect a home where medical marijuana is being grown.

Sallisaw City Clerk Dianna Davis told commissioners Monday night she had received the first application from a person wanting to grow medical marijuana. In particular, the application raised the question of just what procedure will be used to inspect the growing operation in a home.

Davis told the board the applicant was very patient and just wanted to know what was required of him so that he could grow marijuana in his home.

Under the state law approved by voters, a person holding a state-issued medical marijuana license can consume marijuana legally, possess up to three ounces of marijuana on their person, possess six mature plants, possess six seedling plants, possess one ounce of concentrated marijuana, possess 72 ounces of edible marijuana and possess up to eight ounces of marijuana in their residence.

Cities and towns across the state are currently developing their own set of fees and regulations. However, those regulations must be consistent with and not circumvent the law approved by the voters.

Sallisaw last month approved an ordinance dealing with the issue, but indicated at that time they may have to come back and revise, add to or subtract from the regulations.

The question Monday night centered around how the city might be able to inspect a growing operation inside a private home.

Inspector Keith Miller said there is no provision in the law for going inside a home and inspecting. “Nothing is spelled out,” he said. “I need something solid to prevent some kind of liability.”

The issue also raised the question of dealing with complaints.

City attorney John Robert Montgomery said, “If we have any complaints, the state doesn't have any way of dealing with it. If there is a complaint, it's on us.

Sallisaw Mayor Ernie Martens said the staff and some board members would be attending an Oklahoma Municipal League conference later this week and the new marijuana law would be one of the topics of discussion, adding that other municipalities are just as confused about the law.

At Martens suggestion, Davis said the applicant has been understanding and patient and probably wouldn't mind waiting until the city can determine what direction it needs to take. 

The agenda item was discussion only and no action was needed. The issue will likely be brought back up next month.

Commissioners also approved an amended master fee schedule that establishes rates  and fees for the city, with one change.

As per a request by Commissioner Phillip Gay, the staff left in a provision for a $10 fee for microchipping a dog or cat in order to better identify animals within the Sallisaw system. The item had been removed.

Gay also told commissioners he had a request from campers about establishing a senior discount for camping at Brushy Park. Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton said staff would study the issue and see what could be done.

Commissioners approved an annual memorandum of agreement between Sallisaw NOW Coalition and the City of Sallisaw. The city acts as the fiscal agent for the Coalition and the agreement allows the city to continue to act in that capacity.

A purchase order in the amount of $61,000 was approved by the board for the purchase of a 2016 asphalt roller from Kirby Smith Machinery, Inc. of Oklahoma City.

Skelton said the roller will go to the street department to repair potholes and streets.

Another purchase order was approved for $65,176 for the purchase of two 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe police units. The two units will replace two Chevrolet Impalas, one of which has been taken out of service due to high maintenance costs, according to police Chief Terry Franklin.

The purchase of one 2008 Ford F-550  diesel super duty fleet service truck with a crane was approved at a cost of $21,500 from Capital City Truck Sales, Inc, of Nashville, Tenn. The purchase is contingent upon the staff traveling to Nashville to inspect the truck.

The board entered into executive session to discuss the potential purchase of real property, but took no action upon return to open session.

An item considering the approval of architect services  with Tim A. Risley and Associates of Fort Smith, related to the demolition of the old city hall and construction of a new facility was stricken from the agenda.

In the city manager report, Skelton said work is progressing on landfill Cell 8 and should be about 99.9 percent completed next week.

He said the walking trail at the Sports Complex and the splash pad are currently in the design stages and the city has been approved for a $490,000 grant for substation work.

Skelton said six communities have submitted proposals for a proposed veterans center. All of the communities are expected to meet with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Sept. 24 to give oral presentations.

Sallisaw Municipal Authority

Under Sallisaw Municipal Authority business, the Authority members approved the renewal of a lease of the rodeo grounds for another five years with the Sallisaw Lions Rodeo, Inc.

Marley Abell, chairman of the Lions Club Rodeo Committee, told Authority members the Lions Club likes to use the facility from July 1 through  Aug. 15, which allows volunteers to go in and do preparation work and cleanup.

Abell said the Lions Club reinvests 20 percent of proceeds for general maintenance, upkeep and improvements to the rodeo grounds, adding that there are some issues at the grounds that will likely require some work in the future.

The rodeo grounds are in “rough” shape and the northwest fence is in bad shape, Abell said. He said the club would also like to make some improvements to the building located on the grounds.

The Authority approved a three-year contract with Sue's Recycling and Sanitation of Gore for solid waste disposal services.

Sequoyah County Times

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