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Bill would regulate medical marijuana facilities

DOWNTOWN – Less than six months after Missouri residents voted to allow state-licensed physicians to dispense medical marijuana, a St. Louis alderman wants to ensure that facilities providing the substance operate properly.

Seventh Ward Alderman Jack Coatar, introduced a bill on April 26 to regulate medical marijuana facilities. Meant to be part of the zoning code, it focuses on the purposes, definitions, regulations and requirements for the sites of facilities.

The bill, recommended by the planning commission, stipulates that no person may dispose of marijuana products in an unsecured waste receptacle. It must have an odor mitigation system that includes activated carbon filters, an ozone generator, UV light exposure, UV-C air disinfection or other similar odor mitigation technology.  

Under the bill, the facility shall not allow on-site consumption of marijuana or marijuana-infused products on the premises at any given time.

The measure was one of a laundry list of 25 bills introduced on April 26, the first day they could be introduced in the 2019-20 session. Some were routine, while others carried over major priorities of specific aldermen.

One bill, introduced by 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer, requires a citywide vote to approve any proposal to privatize the St. Louis Lambert International Airport. “It provides a path for how privatization would go with respect to public input, Spencer said.

Another bill, introduced by 21st Ward Alderman John Collins-Muhammad, calls for a vote by city residents on a charter amendment to keep the number of wards and aldermen at 28. In an earlier election, city residents voted to cut the number of ward and aldermen to 14 on Jan. 1, 2022.

Collins-Muhammad said people want a revote.

Twenty-Third Ward Alderman Joe Vaccaro introduced a bill that requires all candidates for elective office in the city to have their city taxes paid in full at the time they file for office.  

Another bill introduced by Coatar would require any project downtown that seeks city financial incentives to use the Downtown Steam Distribution System. It prohibits the city’s Clean Energy Development Board from approving financing for any commercial building that doesn’t use the Downtown Steam Distribution System for heat.

Nineteenth Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis introduced a bill to give the honorary designation of Fr. Biondi S.J. Way to Grand Boulevard from Lindell Boulevard to Interstate 44. Biondi served as president of St. Louis University from 1987 to 2013.




Jim Merkel Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Jim Merkel covered communities throughout the area from 1991 to 2013 for the old Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He is the author of five books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. The latest is Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis with Miss Jenny the Cat. For more about Jim, visit

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