The City of Girard could see its first marijuana dispensary in the next few months. 

The store would go somewhere along Route 422 and would offer recreational sales to those who don't have medical marijuana cards. 

“It's not 1920’s prohibition,” Mark Zuppo, Mayor of Girard said. “People that don't support it, they’re short sighted.”

Once the store opens, Girard Police and the Trumbull County Sheriff's Office will patrol the inside and outside to make sure things go smoothly. 

The idea of the dispensary comes as some towns and cities prevented the stores from moving in. Boardman and Lordstown have imposed bans while Austintown and Youngstown considered temporary holds on the stores coming to their areas. Austintown has since reversed that decision. 

Mayor Zuppo sees those areas bans as a chance to bring in a lot of money. The state gets 10% of the sales from the dispensary while Girard will get 35% of the profits. 

“It has so many advantages as opposed to disadvantages and our proximity to Pennsylvania which does not have recreational marijuana makes it even more enticing to them to come over,” Renny Paolone, President of the Girard City Council said. 

Money from the dispensary will go into the city’s general fund. Mayor Zuppo hopes when that dispensary money starts coming in, they'll be able to get rid of the city’s speeding cameras. 

“[The cameras are] a deterrent to people coming to Girard and I want to open Girard up to be what it is at the heart of the valley,” Mayor Zuppo said. 

Zuppo said the cameras brought in $1.6 million to the general fund last year. He doesn’t expect the dispensary money to match that but said it will allow him to slowly get rid of the cameras while they work on getting other business revenue. 

The dispensary will employ 15 to 20 workers and is estimated to bring in $300,000 to $500,000 to the city.

Several dispensaries are interested in opening a store in Girard. The city is conducting a lottery system to chose which will get the green light. The city can only have one dispensary due to the state regulations on distance required between them. 

Mayor Zuppo said the dispensary could be up and running as soon as fall of 2024. 

This will be the first marijuana dispensary of any kind for Girard. Back in 2017 the then Mayor of Girard, Jim Melfi, vetoed the idea of allowing medical marijuana stores in the city. City council overturned the veto - giving the city the option to welcome any medical marijuana store that wanted to set up shop in Girard. No stores ended up moving in according to Paolone.