Montevideo supports medical cannabis facility
MONTEVIDEO — The city of Montevideo is prepared to make possible one of the state’s first facilities to manufacture and distribute medical cannabis.
City Manager Steve Jones said council members acted at their meeting Monday to support a proposal by a local businessman interested in developing a facility.
Council members indicated they would support the construction of the facility in the city’s industrial park.
The city manager said the entrepreneur, whom Jones declined to identify, expressed interest in building one of the two medical cannabis manufacturing facilities that new state legislation would allow. As of press time, the legislation had not been signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton.
The Montevideo proposal calls for raising marijuana indoors in a secure facility. The marijuana would be processed in the facility to extract the chemical compounds believed to have a medicinal benefit. The final product would not contain THC, the dopamine-releasing ingredient that produces the high sought by users of leaf marijuana.
The medical cannabis issue has been important to the family of 8-year-old Montevideo resident Katelyn Pauling. They believe medical marijuana will help reduce the trauma of her daily seizures, according to Jones.
He said the city and possible developer feel it is important to be ready to develop a facility quickly if the community is to host one of the two that would be allowed.
In other business, council members instructed the city manager to begin drafting a new lease agreement with the Milwaukee Road Heritage Center. The nonprofit organization operates a museum and history center on the former Milwaukee Road yard.
The lease for the site expires at the end of the year.
Local manufacturer SpecSys had asked the city to consider allowing it to develop a rail car manufacturing plant at the site. After a public hearing last month, council members instructed city staff to work with the company to find other suitable sites in the city.