Commission decides to ban medical marijuana dispensaries on Longboat Key

Editor & Publisher

The sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana dispensaries lit up Town Hall last week, and it took only a few moments for the Town Commission to reach consensus to ban them on Longboat Key going forward.

Less than a year ago, Florida voters approved Amendment Two, fully legalizing the medical use of marijuana throughout the state. The new law permits the use for individuals with specified ‘debilitating’ conditions and authorizes the cultivation, processing, distribution and sale of marijuana and related activities by licensed “medical marijuana treatment centers.”

That vote left many municipalities, including Longboat Key, enacting a moratorium on tackling the issue until they could develop land-use and zoning regulations to accommodate such centers and activities.

Longboat’s moratorium expires on Dec. 5, 2017 and the Town must act to comply with the new State laws.

Town Manager Dave Bullock raised the issue at the Monday afternoon workshop on Sept. 24. Following the passage by voters of Amendment Two, the Florida Legislature passed regulations that essentially leave municipalities such as Longboat with two options:

1) Treat medical marijuana dispensing organizations and medical marijuana treatment centers exactly the same as pharmacies, and allow them in any zoning district where a pharmacy is allowed with no additional restrictions or regulations or;

2) prohibit medical marijuana dispensing organizations and treatment centers in their entirety.

Since the Commission decided to prohibit marijuana centers, the Town must adopt such an ordinance prior to the termination of the existing moratorium. That ordinance will now be voted on at a Monday, Oct. 2 regular Commission meeting.

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1 Response for “Commission decides to ban medical marijuana dispensaries on Longboat Key”

  1. Steve Keller says:

    The Commission should be commended for having the political courage to exercise good judgement in banning these Centers on LBK. This decision is unequivocally in the best long term interest of our Community.

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