Oak Creek OKs marijuana dispensary

Oak Creek Town Board members vote, 4-2, to approve conditional license

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— Oak Creek Town Board members decided against any more delays and approved a conditional business license Thursday night for the town’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

Board members voted, 4-2, to grant the business a six-month conditional license with a long list of stipulations that owner Jacob Wise must meet before the dispensary can open.

The conditional license was proposed as a compromise between a 60-day moratorium and a one-year conditional license. The six-month conditional license then will be superseded by a formal ordinance the Town Board will craft in the coming months.

The town was first presented with a moratorium drafted by town attorney Bob Weiss that would have given time to create an ordinance before any dispensaries were approved. Mayor J Elliott was the only member to vote in favor of the moratorium, and other board members said the trustees have known this issue was coming for several months and had time to consider the options.

Trustee Wendy Gustafson proposed the six-month conditional license that will be folded into a more comprehensive ordinance once it is completed. She said the temporary permit would allow the town to see how the business is operating and make any changes needed before a year had passed.

As part of in the conditions of the permit, the business must install security systems, including cameras, security glass on the windows, a monitored burglar alarm and outdoor lighting; and it will not be allowed to have any advertising relating to marijuana on the outside of the building. Wise also will have to undergo a fingerprint and background check, and he will not be allowed to open the business if he has a felony conviction.

Wise agreed to not advertise the name of the business — Mary’s — outside of the shop, either, because Mary Jane is a synonym for marijuana. The dispensary will be in the Circle R building at Nancy Crawford Boulevard and Sharp Avenue.

Wise agreed to all the conditions and told Town Board members that he is interested in cooperating with the town.

“I would like to be a part of this community, and I’d like to do a good job, and my partners in crime here, they’ve got a real passion for this business, a real passion, and they would like to contribute money to this community and to see this community come alive,” Wise told the trustees.

He said that like the Town Board, he is in limbo as new state laws regulating medical marijuana are in the process and as more are likely to come.

“We’re all in a Catch-22,” he said.

Trustees Gusta­f­son, Dawn Smith, Bernie Gagne and Nikki Knoebel voted in favor of the conditional license; Elliott and Trustee Josh Voorhis voted against. Trustee Chuck Wisecup was not at the meeting.

Board members will hold a work session at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 to begin working on the medical marijuana ordinance.

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