Marijuana plant variance approved by Camdenton Board of Adjustments

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
The front side of the former Modine building in Camdenton.

The Camdenton Board of Adjustments met Tuesday night and voted to approve a variance aiding in the potential of a medical marijuana plant moving into the old Camdenton Modine building.

In February, Mayor John McNabb explained that the building needed approval by the board because laws currently require marijuana cultivation facilities to be at least 1,000 ft from schools, liquor stores, churches and public housing. The board of adjustments needed to approve a change to this restriction within Camdenton in order for plans to proceed. 

During the meeting, board member Jay Hammer questioned the stench the plant would create. The building's current owner Rick Mai confirmed there would be no marijuana smoke on the property to create a stench. 

The motion to approve the variance was made by Hammer, and seconded by board member Bud Phillips. 

The vote would go on to pass, 3-2. Members Don Neuharth, Hammer and Phillips voted in favor. Board members John Fisher and Bill Jefferies voted against it. 

The approval of this variance will open the way for the plant to come into reality. Owner's rep DJ Seberger says that they were very excited about the city's vote and were glad that Camdenton was willing to take a "leap of faith". 

The next step for the facility will be to check a few more boxes with the state and locally. This includes completing TCE remediation efforts with member of the previous Modine plant and Missouri DNR. This includes finished floor sealing, installing ventilation units and more. 

The facility also needs to complete a few more permits within the city before operation can begin. The biggest task ahead is for the group to obtain their appropriate licenses from the state to distribute and grow marijuana. Seberger says that by gaining this variance, the route to appeal to the state for their licensing has become much easier.

"The chances of us getting open are getting better and better every day," Seberger said. 

If all of those steps are complete, the facility will move into design and interior work to ready the building for cultivation and production. Seberger says this will go quickly, as they will be working off of existing plant templates. 

Though there are a lot of variables still ahead, the goal is to have the plant open within 3-4 months. However, Seberger says it could be longer. The goal is, at the very least, to have the plant open by the end of the year. 

"We've been working on this for over 17 months. It's nice to finally feel like we're gaining some traction," Seberger said.