Summit County employees now have no reason to be in the weeds on how to use, or not use, medical marijuana when and where they work.

Summit County Council on Monday unanimously passed an ordinance regulating use of medical marijuana by county employees; the state legalized medical marijuana in 2016.

The straight dope is, the ordinance is in effect immediately.

Summit County employees will be allowed to use medical marijuana but can’t use or be under the influence of it while on the job. And they can’t have medical marijuana or paraphernalia on county property or in a county-owned vehicle.

The blunt language in the county’s revised substance abuse policy means employees need to tell the county executive's designee if they use medical marijuana. They also must show they are registered with the state patient registry, have a recommendation from a specially certified medical doctor and show they got the marijuana from a licensed dispensary.

County employees who have commercial driver's licenses, who carry firearms for their jobs or who are in certain other positions are ineligible to use medical marijuana. Employees who test positive for medical marijuana after an accident also would be ineligible for workers' compensation.

The council also got an overview of the proposed $546.7 million 2019 general budget. Members will vote on the budget proposal next Tuesday at what will be the last regularly scheduled meeting of the year. The council typically meets at 4:30 p.m. on Mondays in the Ohio Building in downtown Akron but pushed back its regular meeting by a day next week.

The council will review a 2019 capital expenditure plan in January.

In other action Monday, the council:

• Welcomed new District 7 council member Bethany McKenney to the group. She is the third Republican on the 11-member board with District 3 representative Gloria Rodgers and District 1 representative Ron Koehler. McKenney beat incumbent Michael Soyars for the seat in November’s election.

• Approved a resolution that will allow the county to buy land and put up a building and garage for the Department of Sanitary Services in the new Firestone Business Park in Akron.

• Continued to hold budget hearings for various county offices.

• Heard an update on Ohio State University Extension in the county.

• Approved as part of the consent agenda a five-year lease renewal with Summit Artspace at 140 E. Market St. at a cost of $1 a year.

• Approved as part of the consent agenda an award of up to $200,000 to buy food for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank from Dec. 1 through Sept. 30, 2019.


Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or