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Orange County Will Consider Banning Marijuana Dispensers

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Orange County leaders will meet Tuesday to discuss banning medical marijuana retail centers.

The county commission will consider two ordinances: One bans all medical marijuana retail centers, and the other allows them with additional restrictions. Residents are expected to weigh in.

Tricia Dennis’ son uses medical marijuana, and she plans on asking leaders to allow them.

“Having to run to a different state for the last five years and finally feeling safe, and now I have to go ask where I live, please, let my son have a dispensary, is absurd,” Dennis said. “They’re gonna lose so many good residents like me.”

State lawmakers gave local governments some flexibility on the issue. Local governments can ban all treatment centers, or defer to the Legislature’s rules, which do not include limits on how many centers can be in an area and allows them to be wherever a CVS or Walgreens can go.

Apopka, Winter Garden and Lake County banned dispensaries, but Daytona Beach and Oviedo voted to allow them. Orlando also is considering a ban. The county’s planning board recommends banning them and asking the Legislature for more leeway.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.