Daytona Beach, FL – Update: At Wednesday’s Daytona Beach City Commission meeting, commissioners discussed their options on how they would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in the City.
While the agenda item did not require a vote necessarily as it was part of discussion, many commissioners did state their stance on the matter.
Commissioner Robert Gilliland was the first to express his concern for the allowance of dispensaries in the City, even with the state regulation of not being allowed within 500 feet of a school. He expressed his concern that dispensaries would pop up near other places where children go such as dance studios and pediatrician offices.
“Unfortunately, this really is an all or nothing opportunity for us so I want to make sure everyone understands just how many areas of the City will be allowed to have these. The things like schools was the only spacing requirement, so putting it next to other – a pediatrician’s office, for example – would be unacceptable,” says Gilliland. “I mean, I’m not opposed to medical marijuana, but if my choices are anywhere or nowhere, I go nowhere.”
Mayor Derrick Henry said that he was for allowing dispensaries in the City.
“I don’t see where it is going to have any different impact than a pharmacy. For all practical purposes, the way I understand the medicinal use of marijuana, in this case, is that it is for physical rehabilitation in the same way that any other prescription drug would be used,” says Mayor Henry.
The only other commissioner present that supported allowing medical marijuana dispensaries was Aaron Delgato. Commissioner Delgato says he believes the dispensaries will be “discreet” not the “wild, wild west.”
Those concerned about the issue also included Commissioner Dannette Henry, Ruth Trager, Kelly White and Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri.
Commissioner Henry said she wished they could wait and see the result of the lawsuit against the state for banning smoking medical marijuana. She said she did not feel comfortable with people coming out of the dispensary and immediately smoking and that she does not believe it will be like a “regular pharmacy.”
Commissioner White was concerned about how a dispensary is a cash and money order when it is still federally illegal. Commissioner Trager says she does not want to see dispensaries in the city right now. Chief Capri says he is in support of a ban because he says it may open the door for more crime such as robberies and gun violence. Commissioner Paula Reed was not present to make a comment.
For now, the Commissioners agreed to let staff bring back an ordinance outlining a ban. A ban, according to the Commissioners, is able to be repealed.
The Daytona Beach City Commission meets Wednesday, and one item on the agenda is how the City should regulate the use of medical marijuana.
There are two options, according to State Bill 8A, which was approved by the Florida Legislature last month and includes guidelines for the medical marijuana industry. The first option is that the City can treat medical marijuana dispensaries just like pharmacies, placing no more restrictions on them than other pharmacies dispensing other kinds of prescription drugs. The second option is that the Commission could ban medical marijuana dispensaries from being put within city limits.
After Florida voters approved Amendment 2 last November, which legalized medical marijuana for our state, local governments are choosing different options in how they regulate its use. This meeting of the City Commission will give Daytona Beach its chance to discuss the options and how to proceed.
If the City does allow medical marijuana facilities, it may not place specific limits on the number of these facilities. The dispensaries also must not be within 500 feet of a public or private school and must meet all Florida building and fire code regulations.
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