DOUGLAS — The Douglas City Council has called a special meeting for Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers to discuss Proposition 207.

According to an information packet provided to the council, the passage of Proposition 207 requires city leaders to review its zoning ordinance to cover the newly legal recreational marijuana facilities.

On Nov. 3 Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, the “Smart and Safe Arizona Act,” which legalizes recreational marijuana use and requires jurisdictions to zone for facilities to cultivate and dispense recreational marijuana. The act prohibits a jurisdiction from enacting regulations for recreational marijuana facilities that are more restrictive than any regulations for medical marijuana facilities.

Douglas has regulations pertaining to medical marijuana facilities in its zoning ordinance. Such facilities are permitted in General Commercial, Industrial Park, Light Industrial and Heavy Industrial Zoning Districts, subject to certain setbacks, size and operational restrictions. Such facilities must be set back a minimum of 1,000 feet from any school (public, private, or charter), licensed child care center, church, library or public park, and 2,000 feet from any substance abuse diagnostic, treatment or rehabilitation center or another marijuana facility. Maximum sizes vary based on the type of facility (dispensary or cultivation) from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. Other restrictions require a permanent building, limit hours of operation of dispensaries and prohibit outside seating or onsite use of product.

There is not currently a required setback from residential properties. On Dec. 16 city staff requested guidance from the Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the possibility of adding such a setback. The commission recommended rather than adding such a setback, instead all marijuana uses, medical and recreational, become Conditional Uses subject to the approval of the commission. This continues to protect public spaces listed above while giving nearby residents the opportunity to decide if they are comfortable with a dispensary or other facilities nearby in areas where Commercial Districts abut Residential Districts.

The special meeting is open to the public and can also be viewed online at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvi0d8LEvZONXw98165jqmA