The Ada City Council rejected on Monday a proposal to allow a medical marijuana processing operation at 1406 N. Broadway.
The council voted 5-0 to deny Premium Green LLC’s request for a use permitted on review in a light industrial zone, which means the property owner must obtain permission from the council before moving forward with his or her plans.
The property at 1406 N. Broadway is also the location of an existing medical marijuana growing operation and dispensary, said City Manager Cody Holcomb. He said if the council approved Cain’s request, the processing operation would be confined to the area zoned for light industrial use.
Ernie Sheppard with Sheppard Heritage Homes at 1430 N. Broadway opposed the proposal to use part of the property at 1406 N. Broadway for a medical marijuana processing facility. He said he had noticed unpleasant odors coming from the grow operation at that site.
“We’ve had some issues with smells and stuff,” Sheppard said. “I just ask that you consider it not being passed tonight.”
Premium Green representative Ellis Cain spoke next, saying the property is already outfitted with equipment to eliminate offensive smells.
“We have our scrubbers for any odors,” he said. “We have our machine that throws out a fresh scent for those items.”
Sheppard’s attorney, Walter Newmaster, said granting Cain’s request would essentially give him permission to do anything that was legal under the state law governing medical marijuana processing operations.
“It’s important also to remember that this is not an integrated operation,” Newmaster said. “In other words, it’s not a matter of growing and processing and selling just what’s on the premises. He has the ability to grow as much marijuana as he can sell, as anybody can sell, because he can sell that marijuana to somebody else.”
Newmaster also said medical marijuana operations located in a light industrial district must be able to control odors. He added that Cain had told the Ada Metropolitan Area Planning and Zoning Commission that Premium Green’s current facility had experienced problems with that issue.
“They were aware of the scent and that they were struggling with it, but they have not been able to control it,” Newmaster said. “And that’s only their growing operation.”
Cain’s attorney, Melissa York, acknowledged that flowering marijuana plants do produce an odor, but she said her client was taking steps to address the problem. York also said Cain’s proposed processing center would handle only pre-rolled medical marijuana right now.
York said Cain would have to install additional odor-controlling equipment if he decided to handle other types of processing, which would require a city permit.
“The smells at the processing center shouldn’t be an issue,” she said. “There should be no additional smells because that’s something the city would come and inspect as they’re building their processing center, if they want to do more.”