Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Interim cannabis ordinance gets public hearing

Dodge County Public Health has been working on an interim ordinance that will put any expansion of cannabis sales in the county on hold until January 1, 2025. County commissioners will be holding a public hearing on the proposed ordinance next Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Conference Room B at the Courthouse in Mantorville.

The short time frame between the passage of the legislation legalizing recreational cannabis sales in the state and when it took effect was too short to allow the state time to get the new Office of Cannabis Management up and running and for it to determine the regulations that would be needed before retail licenses could be issued. As a result, the legislation allows for local governmental units to approved interim ordinances that can remain in effect until Jan. 1, 2025. This allows local governments time to study the issue and determine how they want the sale of cannabis to be handled and state requirements for businesses will be.

Local governments cannot declare outright bans on the cannabis related businesses in their communities. These businesses include retail stores, manufacturers, and transportation of cannabis.

What they can do, however, is limit the number of retail licenses to no fewer than one for every 12,500 residents. If a county follows this formula, a city or town in the county is not obligated to register a cannabis business, according to the law. What the interim ordinances does, then, is hit the pause button so decisions don’t have to be made hastily.

The interim ordinance will not affect any businesses that are currently operating under previous state laws still in effect but will prohibit any expansion of those businesses for the time being.

The interim ordinances seem to be a good idea as there is not enough information available for cities or counties to make good decisions regarding sales and manufacture of cannabis products.

The cannabis bill passed by the legislature was more than 300 pages long and requires an entirely new department to be set up to manage the sale and manufacture of cannabis products.

Legalization of marijuana is here to stay but with a piece of legislation as complicated as this one, it is right to take a pause and make sure that the rules and regulations are thought out and in place before moving forward.


School is starting, watch for kids, school buses

School is now back in session throughout Minnesota including the DCI coverage area.

It is always good at this time of year to remember that when school is in session there will be more cars and buses on the roads, especially in school zones. Also, children will be waiting along streets and roads for the buses and other children will be walking or riding their bikes to school.

Remember that Minnesota law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the crossing arm fully extended.

Motorists must also stop at least 20 feet from a school bus when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.

Drivers who violate the law face a $500 fine. Drivers can also face criminal charges for passing a school bus on the right, passing when a child is outside the bus, or injuring or killing a child.

In short, slow down, pay attention and anticipate school children and buses, especially in school zones and neighborhoods.



Dodge County Independent

Dodge County Independent
Dodge County ADvantage
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

Monday-Thursday 10a.m.-3p.m.