Lakewood hopes to control and reap revenue from medical marijuana

LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers said medical marijuana is coming to a community near you whether you like it or not.

With that in mind he and the Lakewood City Council members have crafted legislation to create both safety and a revenue stream if the city is chosen for one of five dispensaries to be located in Cuyahoga County.

His files are thick with paperwork from those wanting to open pot spots in his city.

Given it's dense population, Lakewood is a logical location for a store.

"It's likely to be a lucrative business and we thought it's only fair that the operator pay their share of our burdens and contribute to our local economy," Summers said.

It won't be cheap to open in Lakewood.

A fee of $25,000 a year and 1.5 percent of sales over $1.25 million.

That steep price translates to the equivalent of 50 full time jobs paying $50,000 a year.

Still there is a lot of jockeying for position among groups trying to win a license to dispense medical marijuana.

Seven have been applied to open spots in Lakewood

There was little resistance from neighbors who were asked about the Madison location.

Lyard Zingale sees bigger issues, like heroin.

"I'm a little bit more concerned with that type of exposure than somebody going in to get marijuana for medical reasons," Zingale said.

"They have proven that it does help certain things, glaucoma, cancer treatment, so I"m not against it," A worker in Lakewood said.

By law the dispensaries will be cash businesses, which Summers sees as creating the need for open parking areas and lots of surveillance.

"When you have cash going in and you have a historically illegal drug coming out a lot of serious consideration to making that safe," Summers said.

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