Some consumers may be disappointed when they go into their favorite stores on Oct. 1 expecting to buy “strong beer” or wine. That’s because some of these merchants have not been able pass the inspection to receive their certificate of compliance from the city.
“People have been calling in to get their certificate of compliance for alcohol, but it turns out that a lot of people aren’t in compliance,” said Ardmore Director of Development Services Jessica Scott. “So that means they have to fix the problems before they can get the letter from us, before they can submit it to the ABLE Commission, before they can legally sell (high-point)alcohol.”
According to Scott some of these problems include basic  safety issues such as blocked fire exits and dangerous electric issues such as extension cords being run haphazardly instead of fixing broken outlets.
Other retailers have also been passing their inspections and receiving permits for medical marijuana.
“I’ve already done some inspections of dispensaries and some grow facilities,” Scott said. All and all she said she’s done “about six” all together including one residential.
“They’re slowly coming in because people have to wait for their state licenses before they can come to us,” Scott said. “So there’s been some delay waiting on the state.”
Scott said that she is also planning to submit her first two amendments to the city
commission concerning medical marijuana ordinances on Oct 1. One set of proposed changes concerns the fire suppression systems required for grow facilities.
“It was, if you’re growing, processing, or storing marijuana you had to have a sprinkler,” Scott said. “Now we’re proposing a change that says none will be required if the facility is under 5,000 square feet. And that buildings between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet can get the requirement waived by the Fire Marshall if the building is non-combustible construction, so things like metal buildings. I think that will help some people wanting to open the grow facilities.”
The other proposed amendment will change the definition of “school” to reflect the most recent set of guidelines put out by the health department. According to state guidelines no medical marijuana dispensary or grow facility may be within 1,000 feet of a school.
“Originally the health department defined schools as all types of schools such as daycares, preschools, adult schools, and vocational schools,” Scott said. “Then when they changed their rules they’ve defined it as any school K-12 public and private.”
Scott then pointed out that there are actually several small private schools in the area and while most are located within residential areas (where marijuana cannot be sold or commercially grown), they have still ruled out some proposed locations.