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Rowan County Fiscal Court asks for public comments on medical marijuana

Samantha Morrill

Ahead of the June 18 Fiscal Court meeting, Rowan County officials asked the public for their opinions on medical marijuana. At the May meeting, Judge Executive Harry Clark made a presentation to magistrates and the public, covering the different ways medical cannabis could be implemented in the county.

Clark said the court has a few options to consider when moving forward.

“We’re either going to determine that we’re not going to do anything, and just let the state operate it as legal because they’ve already made it legal. Or whether we’ll take some action to either put it on the ballot, or whether we’ll just approve it, or whether we’ll disapprove it and keep it out of the county,” said Clark.

Clark said the decision will be informed by residents’ feedback but must be made during this month’s fiscal court meeting. Clark suggests people living out in the county reach out to their magistrates ahead of the meeting.

Regardless of Rowan County’s decision, medical marijuana will be legal in the state starting January 1, 2025. Clark said that his main concern was medical marijuana’s impact on workplaces.

“How do we integrate this into the employee workforce? We currently have zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use or under the influence on county time,” Clark said. “So, if its legal to do and they have a prescription for it, I’m not sure how we would gauge what level they are functioning at when they show up for work.”

Clark said he doesn’t want Rowan County residents to have to drive two counties away to get medicine they are legally prescribed, when they could get it in Rowan County. He said moving forward with prescribed cannabis will create a learning curve for employers across the region.