A proposed medical marijuana dispensary faced opposition from a neighboring Menards when the Columbia City Council reviewed a request to rezone the property at Monday night’s meeting, but the home-improvement company has pulled an about-face.
The council unanimously approved a statement of intent request from Agape Total Health Care of Missouri that would allow for the property on 3310 Vandiver Drive to be used as a dispensary. The building, formerly a Ruby Tuesday, is within the Centerstate Crossings shopping center next to Menards and Hilton Garden Inn.
A lawyer representing Menards reached out to city staff about the proposed dispensary, claiming it violated private restrictions that apply to all properties within Centerstate Crossings, according to a council memo.
The lawyer said that “head shops” or “other businesses selling drug paraphernalia” are restricted in the private agreement. In the memo, city staff wrote that the proposed revision to the lot isn’t restricted because the dispensary would be a business licensed by the state.
The memo also said that private covenants, such as the restrictions the Menards lawyer cited, are a civil matter and aren’t the city’s responsibility to enforce.
“Based on some erroneous assumptions, our legal department perhaps overreacted as to what they thought was the proposed use,” Menards spokesperson Jeff Abbott wrote in an email to the Missourian. “We agree with the City that the dispensary does fall within the permitted uses of the site. We wish our new neighbors well in their endeavors.”
Although the council approved the request, the dispensary is still awaiting license approval from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The agency isn’t expected to approve any of the nearly 2,200 medical marijuana business license applications it received in August until January. Once those applications are approved, the city will choose up to seven businesses to receive local dispensary licenses.
Representatives from Agape Total Health Care of Missouri did not respond to requests for comment.