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Poteau Council tables cannabis business



POTEAU – A controversial proposal for a cannabis processing business was tabled Monday night by the Poteau City Council.

It was the third month in a row the request from Dalton Harvey and Tom Buckner for a specific use permit for the Old School Bakery was on the agenda. The business would process medical marijuana products to be sold to dispensaries.

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The request was denied in December and failed without a motion in January.

On Monday, council member Connie Shockley moved to table the item until it could be voted on by the full council. Two members – Tommy Robertson and Clay Bennett –  did not attend Monday’s meeting.

Council member Philip Zearley asked City Attorney Marc Bovos if the council should be concerned about a possible lawsuit if the permit is denied. Bovos said the proposed facility is a legal business, although several bills are pending in the Legislature regarding medical marijuana establishments. Other cities have been sued over their restrictions, “and it hasn’t gone well” for them, Bovos said.

In other action, the specific use ordinance was amended to include day care centers and home health organizations. Mayor Scotty White said those businesses were not included in the city’s regular zoning classifications.

The council also approved rezoning 609 Hopkins from R2 to R4 to allow apartments and duplexes.

In personnel actions, the council approved Ross Allen for full time benefits with the Street Department; moving Gavin Garrett, Brady Fox and Jerod Holton from volunteer status to full time with the Fire Department; and hiring Jacob Robertson to the Police Department, pending approval from the Police Pension.

The council was told that progress is being made to clean up and restore three properties – 601 S. Harper, 503 S. Walters and 110 Dewey. The council voted to continue monitoring the sites and revisit the question next month.

In her report, Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Wages noted that OG&E had used the Reynolds Center as an emergency headquarters during last week’s winter storm.

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