The Apopka medical marijuana ordinance just burned out, but it could be fired-up again next summer.
The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 Wednesday to enact a moratorium on dispensing medical marijuana, which would last through May 31st of 2017 and will allow them to respond if Florida voters approve a referendum to expand the use of medical marijuana on Election Day November 8th. If it passes, it would require the state Department of Health to adopt new medical-marijuana cultivation and distribution rules within six months. The moratorium gives the Council the option to review updated health regulations and alter city laws, if it becomes necessary.
According to the City Agenda, on May 6th, 2015 the City Council adopted the ordinance that established regulations for the cultivation of cannabis and the processing, and dispensing of medical marijuana within the City of Apopka through adoption of the current medical marijuana ordinance occurred in reaction to Florida government enacting the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, which became effective on January 1st, 2015.
But on November 8th, Florida voters will decide whether medical marijuana laws and administrative rules should be changed to expand applications for medical use of marijuana. The proposed 2016 constitutional amendment addresses three components: (1) Physician certification, (2) Patient and caregiver identification cards, and (3) Medical Marijuana Treatment Center registration and regulation.
As the new DOH rules may not be known until as late as June 2017, City Staff had concerns about how the new regulations may regulate the dispensing of medical marijuana within the community. These regulations could allow dispensing at locations that could place potential detrimental impacts on nearby residential neighborhoods, schools, religious facilities, and the community in general based on observations from practices within other states.
Also, the new rules for dispensing may affect the ability of Apopka law enforcement to adequately respond to any associated problems generated from medical businesses dispensing medical cannabis.
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