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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Sunday, Sep. 2, 2018 2 months ago

Maitland approves medical marijuana dispensary ordinance

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The ordinance allows dispensaries beyond 500 feet of a school and 1,250 feet of any other operating drugstore or pharmacy.
by: Harry Sayer Black Tie Reporter

After months of discussion, the Maitland City Council adopted an ordinance allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the city limits. 

The ordinance, crafted following a 180-day extension of the moratorium on decisions regarding medical marijuana, allows dispensaries beyond 500 feet of a school and 1,250 feet of any other operating drugstore or pharmacy. The modification included medical-marijuana dispensaries into the legal definition of pharmacies and drugstores such as Walgreens or CVS. 

Possible dispensaries looking to set up shop in Maitland will face a number of conditions including an operational alarm system, 24/7 video surveillance system, sufficient lighting from dusk to dawn, as per a Florida statute. 

As has been the case since the ordinance’s inception, both Councilwoman Bev Reponen and Mayor Dale McDonald opposed the measure for a number of reasons, including its affect on other businesses; a higher chance of recreational marijuana coming to Maitland; and the fact that Maitland residents can drive to neighboring municipalities to get medical marijuana. 

“For those folks that need the pain relief that medical marijuana provides, that’s not an argument … having access to this, granted, should be available to everybody,” McDonald said. “But is it being available to everybody in Maitland better because there’s (a facility) in Maitland? That’s my question.”

The three other council members ultimately remained steadfast in their support, deciding the inclusion would be innocuous enough to not prove a harmful effect on Maitland as a whole. The ordinance passing 3-2. 

“We’ve gone through it; they’re not a drug issue,” Councilman Mike Thomas said. “Not as far as drug proliferation. They’re boring little storefronts where people can get medicine. There are times where even Casselberry isn’t such an easy commute. I just don’t see any reason not to do this. … Sixty, almost 70% of our residents voted yes on that referendum.”

The new law will go into effect immediately.  

IN OTHER NEWS

Maitland executed its annual agreement with the Orange County School Board to fund school resource officers beginning in July 2018 through June of 2019. This year will have an additional officer on staff at each public school in compliance with the Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School Safety Act. The agreement will cost $157,500.

The city executed a sidewalk easement between the city and the Maitland City Centre. The mixed-use project will become responsible for sidewalks surrounding the project.

The city approved both the purchase of 45 body cameras and related hardware as well as a five-year agreement with Axon Enterprises. The first year’s equipment will cost $55,356 and will be funded through forfeiture funds while following years will cost $43,596 through the normal budget process.

Maitland recognized Joe Workman as employee of the quarter and presented budget analysis Nick Segel a distinguished budget presentation award. 

 

Harry Sayer is the Black Tie Reporter for the Winter Park/Maitland Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida. Have a story suggestion? Shoot him an email at [email protected]....

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