OTTAWA — The official position of Ottawa’s village council on medical marijuana dispensaries within the village will hold until next year.

A brief, dispassionate discussion on the issue came about as council considered the third and final reading of an ordinance banning the cultivation and processing of medical marijuana, as well as the establishment of dispensaries during a meeting held Monday.

Introducing the topic, Mayor Dean Meyer offered input from Ottawa-Glandorf Schools Superintendent Don Horstman.

“I spoke with Don Horstman, and he was very much against any facilities like this in town,” Meyer said. “And I’m just going to throw this out, I feel the same way.”

Information shared with council members via email was then discussed.

“Not once did I see any information in that information that was shared on the downside of medical uses. I don’t know if that’s right, wrong, or otherwise,” Council President Dave Michel said. “In my mind, this would be very simple if we were talking about recreational use, but we’re not. We’re talking about medical necessity.”

“That’s the only thing that’s legal in the State of Ohio, which is even at odds with federal law, right?” Michel added.

The gray area that is the legality of marijuana was also a clear focus of discussions, with Village Solicitor Joe Schroeder advising caution.

“From the position where I sit, as not a voting council member, it just seems to me there’s a lot up in the air on this issue, as well as a push to legalize marijuana in Ohio,” Schroeder said. “I don’t know that today we can predict what the landscape’s going to be like in six months or a year. My concern is, we don’t really know the extent of what we’re passing, depending on what changes occur. I don’t think we can gauge what the full impact of this will really be.”

As was suggested in prior discussions, council also discussed the possibility of zoning any approved dispensary, requiring it be situated in a location of council’s choosing. Council members also recognized that an approval of the ban would not preclude a change in position at some point in the future.

“If we turn it down now, it doesn’t mean something couldn’t change,” Councilor Tim Maag summed up.

Though no vote on the subject was called for, Councilors Jo Deskins and Troy Yant offered their positions.

“I would vote to prohibit,” Deskins said.

“I will say this, if it means anything,” Yant added. “I would feel reluctant in voting in favor of it. But the only people who have contacted me have told me they’re against it. In a democratic sense, as a representative of the people, I would probably vote against it, regardless of what my personal beliefs are.”

In the absence of Councilor Matt Black, and with Yant’s term expiring at the end of the year, Michel moved to table the matter, leaving the decision to a full body vote at a later date. Council unanimously approved Michel’s motion.

In other business, council:

• approved a resolution extending the refuse contract with Werlor Waste Control and Recycling, Inc. for a third year, from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

• approved a resolution authorizing the mayor and clerk-treasurer to enter into towing agreements with “IMM”pressive Towing, Inc., and Meyer’s Auto Sales and Services.

• entered into executive session to discuss contract negotiations and “imminent litigation.” On reconvening, council authorized the mayor’s signature on an engagement letter with attorney Brad Warren.

Following the adjournment of council’s first meeting, members then held a second meeting establishing Monday, Jan. 3, as the date for council’s annual reorganizational meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the Ottawa Village Council is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.