The Huntsville City Council has voted unanimously to allow medical cannabis dispensaries to operate inside the city limits.

Council members discussed their concerns at a meeting Thursday night and sought further clarification regarding regulations and zoning. Henry Thorton, external relations officer for the city, said dispensaries are already required to be away from residential zones and at least 1,000 feet from a school or daycare. A more extensive zoning plan for dispensaries will be presented to the council for approval on December 15, said manager of planning services Thomas Nunez.

Thorton said Madison County could potentially have up to nine dispensing sites, any one of which could theoretically locate in Huntsville. Councilman Devyn Keith said, if possible, the council should vet those seeking a dispensary or other medical marijuana license in the city to pick the candidate that best fits the needs of Huntsville.

“The select grower and the selection of the product and the person has an immense effect on the product that is produced, on the quality of the produce, on the cost of the product, on the presentation,” Keith said.

Thornton said he’s spoken to nearly three dozen companies in the medical cannabis industry and felt that the state’s stringent regulations would help ensure only the top, most committed candidates would make it through the application process.

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