Township prohibits marijuana sales, commercial growing

by Laura Bednar

May 28 township trustees meeting

Bath trustees voted unanimously to prohibit the cultivation, processing and retail sale of adult-use cannabis within Bath Township.

This decision comes after Ohio voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in November 2023, allowing for the “licensure of ‘adult use’ cannabis cultivators and processors, cannabis testing laboratories and ‘adult use’ dispensaries,” according to Bath’s resolution.

Police Chief and Township Administrator Vito Sinopoli said townships are permitted to limit cannabis operations in the township per Ohio Revised Code. Bath prohibited the sale of medicinal marijuana in 2016. Sinopoli said the new regulations have no effect on individual marijuana growers or use and only pertain to commercial entities.

Trustee Elaina Goodrich read from a study by Dr. Bertha Madras, psychobiology professor at Harvard University. In the study, Madras said that chances of psychosis and addiction are higher among marijuana users than other drugs. She also said marijuana doesn’t leave the body as quickly as alcohol and causes more lasting damage to the brain. The final point Goodrich read was that marijuana is associated with violent behavior, and there is mounting evidence that it results in schizophrenia.

“Madras said we should prevent people from getting addicted in the first place and this [resolution] helps that,” said Goodrich.

Barn awards

Resident James McClellan gave an update on the Discover Bath Barns Committee and several Bath residents that won awards from the Summit County Historical Society and Progress Through Preservation of Greater Akron. The groups invite communities to biannually “submit nominations to recognize projects, individuals and organizations that celebrate and enhance the architectural importance and historic character of Summit County.”

Discover Bath Barns Committee, in conjunction with the Heritage Corridors of Bath Committee, won in the Community and Education Outreach category.

This year featured a new category: historic barns. Resident Michael Ackermann of Michael’s Workshop won in this category for the renovation of his carriage house on N. Cleveland-Massillon Road. Crown Point Ecology Center won for the adaptive reuse of its barn, and resident Tim Franklin won an award for his renovation of the Edwin Merril House in downtown Akron.

McClellan said he presented the Discover Bath Barns award to trustees, because it is a township committee, but also “for recognition for the leadership in the community in which they encourage, promote and support the preservation of our heritage and the enhancement of historic structures so all citizens and travelers can enjoy them.”

Mowing update

Sinopoli said the township is working to address resident concerns about Summit County requiring residents who live adjacent to county roads to mow along the roadway and ditches. He said a representative of the Summit County townships is meeting with the county engineer to discuss possible options. Residents will not be responsible if the county engineer determines that intersections and county-owned property have low visibility and mowing is needed.


Bath will apply for the ReWorks Community Recycling Access Grant to receive reimbursement for residential recycling projects that “increase the diversion of solid waste from landfills.”

The township also applied for a grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks program. Bath is seeking $167,000 to resurface and stripe tennis and pickleball courts at Bath Community Park as well as install new lighting fixtures, according to Goodrich.

Bids and purchases

Trustees voted to increase the competitive bid threshold for township purchases to $100,000 from $50,000, which Sinopoli said had been in place for at least a decade. “This better aligns with the expenses of today,” he said.

Townships only have to bid certain projects, but Goodrich said Bath could still take a project to bid if wanted or needed.

Bath will pay Miller Roofing & Exteriors $27,000 towards a $54,000 new roof on fire station No. 2. The cost is a 50/50 split with Copley, which shares the station. ∞