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Dispensary draws opposition ahead of Columbia City Council vote

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A health care group is hoping to open up a medical marijuana dispensary in a former Ruby Tuesday building.

The Columbia City Council will vote Monday on the revised "statement of intent" for the property, which would add medical marijuana dispensary as an allowed use.

According to a city council memo, Agape Total Health Care of Missouri, LLC, plans to use the existing building for the dispensary.

Menards Inc., opposes the idea, saying the Centerstate Crossings properties were subject to "restrictions expressly prohibiting any property from being improved with 'head shops' or 'other businesses selling drug paraphernalia.'"

ABC17 News reached out to Menard's cooperate office for a comment, but have not received a response.

City staff does not believe the dispensary falls within the restrictions because the proposed dispensary will be a licensed business for the purposed of distributing a medically prescribed product.

In the memo, city staff compared dispensaries to a pharmacy or a retail operation.

City Councilman Mike Trapp said that because voters approved the state constitutional amendment to allow the sale of medical marijuana, communities cannot deny the facilities from opening up.

"If you can't make a case for having one next to a Menards, that's one of the better location in the city, you would really have to say we aren't going to allow these things at all in our city and that violates Missouri constitution," Trapp said.

In October, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the new statement of intent after speaking with Agape representatives.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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Connor Hirsch

Connor Hirsch reports for the weekday early evening shows, as well as Saturday nights.

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