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Community against possible zoning change to allow medical marijuana grow operation

There is now a sign on the property saying there's a proposal to change the zoning of this land from agricultural to industrial for the new medical marijuana grow operation. (KTUL)

WAGONER COUNTY, Okla. (KTUL) -- A medical marijuana grow operation is putting a quiet community on edge. People who live about 14 miles east of Broken Arrow in Wagoner County said they don’t want it there and not because of what’s being grown.

Eddie Herndon was born and raised around here. He is also a farmer.

“There’s thousands of acres here,” he said. “The biggest thing is we just don’t want industrial in our neighborhood.”

Just down the road he found that may soon be a reality.

There was 60 acres for sale near East 71 Street South and South 369th East Avenue. Someone recently bought 15 of those acres. There is now a sign on the property saying there's a proposal to change the zoning of this land from agricultural to industrial for the new medical marijuana grow operation.

“We didn’t get a notice,” said Herndon. “I can’t tell a person what they can do with their property but we don’t want it rezoned.”

There’s still 45 more acres next to it for sale. Herndon said changing the zoning here now could eventually change this entire area.

“Why can’t it stay agriculture with the zoning?” asked Herndon. “It’s a growery he’s putting in. Would that not be considered agriculture? Why do we have to rezone it?”

Rita Cheasbro lives just across the street from the land. Her concern isn’t the medical marijuana.

“It’s legal now, whether or not you’re for or against marijuana has nothing to do about it, it’s about the zoning and it would lower our property values and it would disturb our peace and quiet,” she said. “We don’t want that in our family community here.”

This is a place she’s lived for more than 50 years with barely any trouble.

“We just have a county patrol every once in a while,” she said. “It could be a dangerous thing growing it so far from law enforcement.”

Herndon has many questions.

“How secure is this facility going to be?”

He said he will be at the meeting to defend their quiet community.

“We’ve had this fight before with another gentleman that tried to go industrial with his property which cost us a lot of money for us to fight it in the court,” he said.

We reached out to the County Commissioner about why there needs to be a zoning change to have a medical marijuana grow operation here. There was no answer because of the holiday.

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