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Proposed THC zoning rules advances to council

MARSHALL — Proposed restrictions on where hemp-based THC products can be sold in Marshall didn’t draw any public feedback at a hearing Wednesday.

After the hearing, members of the Marshall Planning Commission voted to recommend the zoning ordinances to the Marshall City Council.

Wednesday’s hearing focused on zoning proposals introduced by the council last month. The proposals would prohibit the sale of hemp-based THC edibles as an in-home business, or within 500 feet of a school.

“It would be allowed in general business districts,” said Marshall Public Works Director Jason Anderson.

The zoning proposals were part of a larger ordinance introduction that would allow Marshall businesses to register with the city to sell lower-potency THC edibles. Currently, the only local business allowed to sell THC beverages and edibles is Tall Grass Liquor, the Marshall municipal liquor store.

Because part of the introduced ordinance affected city zoning, it had to go to the planning commission for a hearing. City staff and Marshall City Attorney Pam Whitmore explained the ordinance at Wednesday’s hearing. The zoning restrictions will provide a “buffer” around Marshall schools where THC products can’t be sold, and will keep THC retail out of residential zones, Whitmore said.

City staff said the proposed ordinance would only allow sales of the less potent, hemp-based THC products that have been legal in Minnesota since 2022. In a separate action, the city is seeking to keep a moratorium on more powerful cannabis products until the state Office of Cannabis Management comes out with licensing and other regulations.

There were no members of the public with comments at Wednesday’s hearing. With the Planning Commission’s recommendation, the zoning restrictions on THC edibles will go back to the full city council.

The city council will also be holding a public hearing on the cannabis moratorium part of the proposed ordinances. That hearing is coming up on June 25.

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