Monday night, the City of Benton passed a 90-day moratorium on marijuana facilities. (Photo: SKY7/KATV)
The Benton City Council voted Monday night to place a 90-day moratorium on marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers.
According to the ordinance, the city won’t issue any licenses or permits until the 90-day period is over.
City leaders wanted to get more time to research how the facilities work in other municipalities. They will now work to create planning and zoning regulations to regulate the facilities.
“I’m sure there’s going to be, like there is probably with liquor, there’s going to be restrictions about nearness to schools and nearness to church facilities and so on and so forth,” said Benton Mayor David Mattingly.
Before the start of the council meeting, Mattingly says he still wants to know how many there will be across the state and where.
“If there’s 76 counties, how many does Saline County get?” said Mattingly. “That doesn’t even necessarily mean that there is one in Benton, but I suspect there probably will be.”
However, Mattingly says he would rather the facilities not come to Benton period.
“I would rather not have one just to be quite honest with you,” said Mattingly. “I think it’s going to be a new and challenging thing, but it’s not going to be easy for anyone both in law enforcement and the public to accept.”
Mattingly says only one person has contacted the city expressing interest in opening a medical marijuana facility.