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Medical-marijuana cultivation facility 'could generate a windfall of revenue' for Norwalk

• Updated Mar 12, 2017 at 7:22 PM

A pair of Norwalk lawmakers are trying to pave the way for a medical-marijuana business to select Norwalk as the site of its cultivation facility.

With the May 6 deadline approaching for the state to solidify rules governing medical-marijuana cultivation facilities, Norwalk City Councilmen Chris Castle and Kelly Beck are co-sponsoring proposing legislation to welcome such businesses.

The legislation will be presented in a first reading at Tuesday’s work session.

“This is a legal, healthcare industry sector, fully supported by the state,” Beck said. “At a time when our community is struggling with unemployment and flat revenue streams, why in the world would we chase good paying jobs and the accompanying tax dollars away?”

The state’s General Assembly passed House Bill 523 nearly a year ago, making Ohio the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana. The law took effect in September, although rules governing cultivation facilities will not be concreted by the Ohio Department of Commerce until May 6.

“We have to have money in order to keep this town moving forward,” Castle told the Reflector. “This proposal has everything to do with significant revenue streams and with moving this town forward, making sure that we got the money in the budget to do that. We’re going to go through some very hard times over the next few years. And we’re very broke as a city, to be very honest.

“But this is one of the ideas that we can bring to the table now that could generate a windfall of revenue for this town.”

Castle explains more about the proposed legislation in the accompanying video.

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