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Here are the new rules Cumming has proposed for CBD shops
City Hall

As the use and sale of products containing CBD have increased, the city of Cumming is looking at ways to regulate the emerging business.

Defining CBD shops and other changes are included in a change to the city’s zoning ordinance, which was discussed at the Tuesday Cumming City Council work session. Though Tuesday’s meeting was for information only, the topic will come back at a future meeting.

“One of the reasons we talked about was that the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD oil, and instead of just allowing it to be sold, since there are no FDA regulations on it as to potency or efficacy or what it could be marketed as … the city wants to make sure those shops are going in appropriate places for them,” said City Attorney Kevin Tallant.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CBD, or cannabidiol, is a legal chemical component of cannabis sativa that causes none of the intoxication or euphoria commonly found with the use of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is derived from other forms of cannabis, like marijuana.

The FDA has only approved a single CBD product described by the agency as a “prescription drug product to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy” and has said they only have limited data on CBD and many products are being marketed with “unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality.”

The change would define CBD shops as a store, pharmacy, office, business or any other retail or wholesale outlet selling the products and clarifies which commercial zoning districts the products can be sold in.

During the discussion, city leaders said businesses currently selling the products would be able to continue through 2020 but would need to meet the city’s requirements by 2021.

Allowing current sellers that do not meet the requirements to continue until 2021 was discussed, but leaders felt it would be difficult to clarify which businesses would be grandfathered.

“You can adopt it or not adopt it, but we have no way of knowing that they were selling in 2019 or not,” Mayor Troy Brumbalow said.

Other changes in the ordinance clarify the definition for variance, which Tallant said would mean the city would have more flexibility in those requests.

 

City budget

City leaders completed the annual budget process at Tuesday’s meeting and adopted the 2020 budget.

The expected expenditures and revenues for next year are balanced at $14,235,356, down from the current 2019 budget of $14.3 million and the amended 2018 budget of about $15.1 million.

The highest proposed revenues in the budget are $7.7 million from administrative sources, about $1.7 million from the city’s aquatic center and $1.6 million from the Cumming Fairgrounds.

The city’s highest expenditures next year are expected to be $2.5 million for the police department, $2 million for parks and recreation and $1.9 million for streets.

For the water and sewer department, the 2020 budget will be balanced at $24 million, up from $22.4 million in 2019 and $20.6 million in 2018.

“Our general fund budget has gone down for each of the last two years. We’re $800,000 below where were in 2018, so we went down back-to-back years,” Brumbalow said at a previous meeting.

 

Other business

● The council approved alcohol licenses renewals for 55 businesses within the city, bringing in a total revenue of $160,900.

● A bid was also awarded to Strack Inc., for $2.1 million for a project to increase the size of Cumming Utilities’ Haw Creek Outfall and Force Main. Seven other businesses also bid for the project.

● To encourage participation in a lead study being done by the EPA on homes built between 1982-88, the city council approved giving a $25 credit to the water bill of the first 75 customers who participate.

For those that volunteer, Cumming Utilities will provide a sample bottle to collect cold water. Samples are typically taken in the morning or when returning from work.

Volunteers will need to fill out a form beforehand, and samples will be taken every six months to start with, then less frequently after that.

Those interested in taking part in the study can find more information at www.cummingutilities.com/lead-copper-testing.

Questions for Cumming Utilities staff can be sent to tombryson@cityofcumming.net or at 770-781-2026.