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Banks restricts tobacco use, pot sales

At their meeting last Tuesday, July 14, Banks City Council members approved two ordinances that will restrict tobacco use and marijuana sales when the latter goes into effect in August.

One new ordinance prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and marijuana, as well as any other product that can be smoked in city parks, buildings and parking lots. The council had been discussing the possibility of banning tobacco use for about a year.

“The City of Banks owns and to promote healthy, physically active and family-oriented activities, and smoking and the use of tobacco products are not consistent with those purposes, public values or use and enjoyment of public spaces by all citizens,” the agenda read. The ordinance also mentions the litter associated with tobacco products as a nuisance.

Violation of the new could result in a fine of up to $500.

The second ordinance concerns recreational marijuana facilities. The city planning commission held three public hearings this year to gather citizen comments about the sale of recreational marijuana in Banks.

Councilors voted in an ordinance that outlined where recreational marijuana sale sites could be located. They decided recreational marijuana stores cannot be located within 1,000 feet of any public or private school; 500 feet from any park or library; 1,000 feet from another marijuana facility; and 400 feet from any residentially zoned property.

The ordinance also states that marijuana cannot be used at the store’s location and the stores cannot sell marijuana in an edible form. Store hours will be limited to Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.