dispensaries

Cities Face ‘All Or Nothing’ Choices On Medical Marijuana

Aug 18, 2017
tharms5 (Flickr)

Florida cities and counties are in a dilemma about pot.

State lawmakers approved regulations in June that left city and county officials with a Hobson's choice about the sale of medical marijuana in their communities.

The Tampa City Council Thursday took the first of two votes on a proposed ordinance regulating the sale of medical marijuana inside city limits.

Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana has issued two new cannabis licenses under the terms of a measure passed in this June’s special session.  Jim Eaton is an attorney with one of the new licensees, 3 Boys Farm.

Even after Florida’s medical marijuana bill became law, some communities are still deciding on the language of their own ordinances.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

No more than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to open in unincorporated parts of Hillsborough County under new rules passed by commissioners on Wednesday.

The Hillsborough County Commission is jumping ahead of the state legislature by creating a framework for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Florida’s constitutional amendment expanding the scope of medical marijuana in the state took effect last week. Lawmakers now have six months to come up new rules for governing the industry.

In the meantime, local governments across Northwest Florida are taking a variety of approaches as to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and many are considering temporary moratoriums.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Pasco County Commissioners met Tuesday in Dade City to discuss an extension on a county-wide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Commissioners say the ban is needed until the county gets on the same page with law enforcement and land development coding.

Opponents of Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana, have warned it will bring chaos like that in Colorado and California when it became legal in those states, with shops springing up on every corner. But supporters say the ballot measure calls for state control and regulation over such matters as how many medical marijuana dispensaries could open and where they would operate.