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City Councilor Pursuing Change to Allow Drive-Thrus at Marijuana Dispensaries

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Laurie Avocado
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The coronavirus pandemic may lead to a new feature at Tulsa marijuana dispensaries: a drive-thru.

City Councilor Crista Patrick is pursuing a zoning code amendment to allow them.

Patrick told fellow councilors this week that in conversations with the Tulsa Planning Office, she found drive-thru service is currently prohibited because the city’s marijuana ordinance treats all businesses the same, which wasn’t a problem when it was written before the pandemic.

"We are promoting curbside pickup right now, but that is creating a hazard for employees of dispensaries to stand in parking lots and do transactions with a cash-based business," Patrick said.

City Councilor Lori Decter Wright said it makes sense to treat dispensaries like pharmacies and let people pick up prescriptions in a drive-thru.

"But it’s also our No. 1 industry that’s growing in our municipality and in our county and state. And so, certainly, as we’re talking about propping up business, if we can give people another way to meet their customers’ needs, I don’t see why we would prevent that," Decter Wright said.

Tulsa may be the only municipality in the state that does not allow dispensary drive-thrus.

A zoning code change would have to go to the local planning commission for review before the council approves it.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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