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KINGWOOD — The Preston County Health Department will not object to any medical cannabis sites in the county, but members also stated they will not support recreational use of marijuana.

Health Department Administrator V.J. Davis said the department has been requested by the Preston County Commission and the state health department for their stance on the possibility of medical marijuana growers, processors and distributors in the county.

“We are looking at it from an environmental standpoint,” Davis said. “And from there, we don’t see a reason to object.”

He stated the growing of the marijuana would be enclosed and not out in the open. If the processors and distributors are building facilities, they would have to connect to the public utilities.

However, if they need a septic system, they would have to go to the health department for a permit just like anyone else, according to Davis.

The Board of Health did not have any objections to Davis’ recommendations, but stressed the need to place in a letter to the medical marijuana office that they do not support recreational use.

In other business, Davis said he did not believe there were any legislative mandates that would decrease the department’s funding for the 2020-21 fiscal year at this time.

“It appears we will receive the same funding as last year right now,” Davis said. “However, there could be a cut later in the year if revenues are not what is anticipated.”

He also said there maybe money trickling down from the federal government to help them with expenses with the coronavirus.

“We have to keep track of expenses for the virus,” Davis said.

Davis acknowledged people are worried about the coronavirus, but stressed the need to follow protocols for the flu by washing one’s hands, coughing into the crook of your arm, and if you are sick, to stay home.

“The big takeaway is not to panic,” Davis said. “We are constantly watching the ever-changing situation.”

In other business, the board approved the spending of up to $1,500 for the after-prom party at the Craig Civic Center for high school students.

“This year we are going to be having the after-prom from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., instead of until 5 a.m.,” Davis said. “By the time 3 a.m. comes around, the kids have done all the games and are ready to go.”

The event has been regularly funded through donations by local businesses and organizations.

The health department has been partnering with the Preston Prevention Partnership for at least 15 years to give students a location to go after the prom for games, food and fellowship.

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