WYOMING COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Officials in Oceana make a controversial decision to allow a company to turn what was once a Magic Mart into a medical marijuana growing facility.
“I’m in support of it being a growing facility,” says town recorder Jim Cook. “I think it could actually help this area. I am for medical marijuana. I think it helps a lot of people, so I hope they get it.”
Some community members at Thursday night’s council meeting supported the idea, while others were on the fence or even appalled.
“Any business is good business that employs people,” said Roger Davis.”However, just right up the street, you’ve got a drug rehab center. There’s kind of a conflict right there.”
Citizens expressed their concerns about dispensaries following the growing facility to the area. Others were more concerned about marijuana being used as dry leaves rather than oil. A large part of the discussion, however, centered around the idea of marijuana being a gateway drug and leading to more problems with the opioid epidemic.
“I have had personal experience with people who started on the marijuana and [it] lead to something worse,” said Randall Topping. “As a matter of fact, I’m a preacher and I’ve worked several funerals of people where that’s what happened to them.”
The growing facility would not sell directly to the public and would operate under heavy security.
Following an hour and a half discussion, officials moved to issue a letter of support for the facility, hoping to draw in revenue for the town.
“The economic benefits to the town would be great with the revenue,” said council member Jared Harless. “I feel that passing the opportunity up would leave us with an empty building and a lost opportunity [that] we would regret later on.”