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JASPER — The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance last week that repealed the county’s moratorium on marijuana dispensaries.

During the board’s July 16 meeting, it held a public hearing on the new ordinance.

The board felt like the temporary moratorium was no longer needed due to narrowing of regulations set forth by the state legislature on marijuana and hemp use.

The county passed the previous ordinance due to the lack of guidelines when medical marijuana was legalized.

Part of the push for the repeal comes with the Department of Agriculture’s push to promote hemp for industrial and commercial purposes.

The board also discussed the fact that a group is wanting to put a drying and processing plant for hemp in Lake City. During the discussion, the board talked about the possibility of a similar plant in Hamilton County in the future.

The board approved the new ordinance by a 4-1 vote with Randy Ogburn dissenting.

During the meeting, the board also discussed the old hospital property that the county owns. Commissioner Robert Brown said there had been interest from members in the community in purchasing the property.

During discussion, though, the board decided to retain the property in the hopes that it can be utilized in the future for medical purposes.

Brown will notify the interested parties of the board’s decision.

The board also received an update during the meeting on the work of paving the secondary entrance road to Hamilton County High School. The work should be finished in time for school to resume Aug. 12.

The board also awarded a bid for security renovations to the Hamilton County Courthouse to Pemica, Inc., of Miami, for $33,838.

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