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Wadena puts moratorium on sales of edible cannabis

It's an effort to do some homework and figure out what impact this product may have in the community before widespread sales.

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Edible cannabis products like gummies are not allowed for sale in Wadena following Wadena City Council action on Monday, Aug. 16.
Michael Johnson / Pioneer Journal
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WADENA — In an effort to perform further research on the matter, the Wadena City Council approved an ordinance placing a temporary moratorium on the sale of edible cannabinoid products derived from hemp during their regular city council meeting Monday, Aug. 15.

The decision comes after the Minnesota State Legislature amended Minnesota Statutes 151.72 to allow the sale of certain cannabis products derived from hemp. The zoning ordinances, licensing framework and other regulations of the city of Wadena presently do not address the issues presented by the expanded authority to sell certain cannabis products derived from hemp, the ordinance reads.

Chief of Police Naomi Plautz shared concerns about the department, even state, being able to test the potency of the gummies to know if they have a legal level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol — the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The element that makes you high.) She also suggested the council think on where they would allow the sale of these items in the city when crafting an ordinance.

In the past month, the cities of Marshall, Robbinsdale and St. Joseph approved moratoriums on sales. Other cities across Minnesota are also considering moratoriums as they weigh how they'll tackle enforcement.

The city council desires to have the issue of edible cannabinoid products derived from hemp studied further by the city staff and obtain input from Wadena residents, and other interested parties. The council has requested the city staff study the issue at the earliest possible time and provide its report and recommendation with respect to possible new zoning or licensing ordinance or other regulations that are necessary and desirable. In the meantime the council desires that no product sale or the development, construction or creation, or new permitting of any business or activities involved with edible cannabinoid products derived from hemp occur within the city until such study, recommendations and decisions are completed and made, as the case may be.

So, no person, firm, entity, or corporation shall sell such product or construct, develop or create a business, or receive a new permit to conduct any activity involving edible cannabinoid products derived from hemp in the city until the earlier of Feb. 1, 2023 or the effective date of ordinance provisions relating edible cannabinoid products derived from hemp in the City of Wadena.

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“This is a way to keep honest people honest,” City Administrator Kim Schroeder said.

Mayor George Deiss noted that the moratorium is not showing a lack of interest in allowing the sales, rather they need more time to study the impact of this change.

The council was not sure if anyone in the community was selling these items, but if they are they would need to pull them from their shelves.
In other actions, the council:

  • Passed a memorandum of understanding to show support to Tri-County Health Care to participate in the 340B Drug Discount Program. There was no financial obligation to the city. This program allows the hospital to provide care at free or reduced rates to patients in Wadena and surrounding communities in an amount that exceeded $1.1 million in 2021. The city has offered support of this program in the past.
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    New service signs greet drivers at Wadena's entrances. They include signage for the Rotary, American Legion, Lions, VFW, Elks and Wadena Convention and Visitors Bureau. The signs were added in summer 2022.
    Michael Johnson / Pioneer Journal
  • Donations of $1,125 came from the American Legion Post 171, Wadena Lions Club, Wadena Rotary Club, Wadena CVB and Wadena Elks Lodge to cover the cost of signs and installation at the entrances into the city. The signs recognize these service groups in the community.
  • Approved a resolution confirming the mayor’s appointment of Andrew Browne to the Wadena Development Authority Board. No other applicants were received.
  • Approved a resolution designating Franklin Avenue SW as a 66 foot public row from the east line of Seventh Street SW to the west line of Fourth Street SW; and a resolution designating Franklin Drive SW as a 66 foot public row from the east line of Seventh Street SW to the west line of Fourth Street SW. The city acquired this area in 1926 and was used for parks and tech school parking. It’s never been platted in that time.
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    These streets have been here for years, but they've never been made official until now. Franklin Ave and Franklin Drive are now official in this section of Wadena.
    Contributed image
  • Approved hiring Olivia Stattleman and James Eitzen as part-time desk clerks at the Maslowski Wellness & Research Center.
  • Authorized closing a portion of Aldrich Avenue and use of BN Park for Oktoberfest held by Drastic Measures on either Saturday, Sept. 24, or Saturday, Oct. 1.
  • Authorized applying for the Blandin Foundation grant. If approved, this grant would fund nine monthly community conversation meetings to identify challenges and discuss solutions to important issues Wadena is facing. This is a 100% grant for $4,000 with no match required. The 4 main goals of the discussions are to: 1. Engage residents of Wadena and the surrounding area on current issues, philosophical discussions, and other important topics. 2. Encourage conversing for understanding instead of “winning” the discussion. 3. Fostering a more open, welcoming, and vibrant community. 4. Creating a space for the residents of Wadena and the surrounding area to gather, connect, and grow together.
  • Approved temporary on-sale liquor licenses for the Wadena County Ag Society on Aug. 20 and Sept. 16.
He's a writer, editor, photographer, truth seeker and promoter of the Wadena area.
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