Petersburg Pilot -

Assembly advances marijuana indoor smoking ordinance


The Petersburg Borough Assembly approved in its first reading a new marijuana ordinance. The ordinance largely conforms to state regulations and in its current form allows smoking marijuana inside a retail store.

The approval of the ordinance will force the assembly to amend its “Smoke Free Air Act” which prohibits smoking in indoor public spaces.

“If the assembly approves the marijuana ordinance in front of you then staff will have to go back and alter our clean air ordinance to match, to make that work,” Giesbrecht said. “That will take us a little bit of time and we’ll make that happen.”

Assembly Member Eric Castro pushed to get the ordinance in front of the assembly to encourage and enable local entrepreneurs to get started on potential business plans.

“I feel that if we are to open it up maybe it would give more options to those business people,” Castro said. “I feel we need to get this onto the streets as soon as possible to allow the entrepreneurs in town the opportunity to get on board.”

Mayor Mark Jensen said he hopes people will come to the public hearing on the ordinance during its next reading later this month to voice their opinion.

“This is the first reading and will probably open up the discussion and public comments,” Jensen said. “The next reading we’ll have the public comment on it. I hope people will come and voice their opinion so it’s not seven people making the decision and we’ll have more input.”

The ordinance is largely a reflection of the borough’s alcohol ordinance. It outlines hours of sale in retail locations similar to that of bars and prohibits the sale to minors or to intoxicated persons.

The Assembly also passed an ordinance that spells out fines for marijuana violations.

Susie Burrell, owner and operator of the Fisherman’s Net Café, has applied for a marijuana retail license from the state and plans to open a marijuana business in a separate space next to the café in January 2017.


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