Florida city to block marijuana dispensaries temporarily

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LAKELAND – Another city in Florida is on move to enact a moratorium for dispensaries.  Until the Florida legislature and the Department of Health implement the regulations for Amendment 2(medical marijuana) this will continue throughout the next 6 to 12 months.  In the meantime please feel free to contact us to begin the process of receiving a medical marijuana ID.  Currently there is a 90 day wait after a potential patient meets with a licensed physician that can recommend medical marijuana prescriptions. Only after meeting these limited amount of physicians that can recommend medical marijuana could the potential patients move forward with the process. YourCannaLife has access to over 400 Medical Doctors that have received training and have been approved by the State of Florida to initiate medical marijuana treatments.  The earlier you start the process the better.

 

Yours truly,

YCL Founder

 

Originally written by: Christopher Guinn on New Chief.

LAKELAND – Arguments for caution convinced the City Commission to embrace a temporary ban on medical marijuana dispensaries opening in the city.

The moratorium will allow the city time to see how the Florida Legislature and Florida Department of Health write regulations in the wake of Amendment 2 being approved by Florida voters on Nov. 8, commissioners said.

“Until we have specific guidance as to what the state legislature is going to do, I think we need to call it zoning-in-progress, call it whatever you want, but we need to go on the record and say we feel – and it’s in all the citizens’ best interest – to wait” until the rules are clarified, Commissioner Edie Yates said.

Commissioners said in a 6-to-0 decision they expect the city’s professional staff to have the moratorium ready for a final vote Jan. 17, which necessitates a first reading of the ordinance to the public Jan. 3. Commissioners said they want the moratorium to last for 90 days after it passes.

By then, the city’s staff and commission need to have a comprehensive set of zoning laws for medical marijuana dispensaries in place.

Commissioners present at a workshop discussion Friday pushed back against the city staff’s recommendation for a moratorium, arguing it would appear the city was attempting to buck the will of the 71 percent of voters that approved of the medical marijuana amendment.

“We’re not trying to prevent or thwart the wishes” of the electorate, Mayor Howard Wiggs said, but rather make the city prepared when the state’s regulation is in place “so when it’s implemented it’s done the right way.”

“This is not an attempt to say we are objecting to the medical marijuana amendment,” he added.

Medical marijuana will be legal in Florida on Jan. 3, though the comprehensive regulations aren’t due until July 1. Because of the timing, there will be a month of uncertainty if a dispensary attempts to open shop in Lakeland before the city’s moratorium is in place.

That likely won’t be a problem, Commissioner Jim Malless said, as the city is now communicating its intent to place a moratorium ahead of the official vote. It may also be unlikely a perspective marijuana grower or seller would make a grab for retail space before the state determines who will be allowed to sell it.

The bigger question remains: Will Lakeland treat medical marijuana dispensaries like pharmacies, welcome in commercial districts? Or will they be relegated to industrial districts?

Commissioner Bill Read said he would like to see the zoning laws for dispensaries to resemble laws for alcohol that prevent them from being too near schools or churches.

The real difference, Malless said, is between a traditional pharmacy and a “single product” marijuana dispensary. He said the final ordinance may make the distinction.

“Everybody’s concerned, I think, about the ugly storefronts they’ve seen” in states where medical and recreation marijuana has been legal, “and the impact it would have on the public.”

He said he’s seen them in his trips to Denver and Vancouver, B.C., and “yeah, some of them are a little seedy and that’s not who we want to be in Lakeland.”

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