Winter Park City Commissioners will conduct a first reading on Monday for a new ordinance that would ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.
They will be pondering their approach to medical marijuana dispensaries in the wake of Gov. Rick Scott signing the medical marijuana bill into law last month. The state legislation on medical marijuana preempts any local regulations in place, but does give cities the opportunity to ban dispensaries if they choose to do so, City Attorney Kurt Ardaman said.
Unless the facilities are banned outright though, the city has no control over where the dispensaries go or how many of them can be established in the city, Ardaman said.
That leads some commissioners, like Carolyn Cooper, to believe that banning them may be the best option – for now.
“That really ties your hands,” Cooper said. “It says you can’t have rules. If you can’t have rules and the pharmacies don’t want to dispense it, then I think they’ve made it just a little bit too complicated.”
The state law passed by the voters last year will do away with regulations Winter Park had put in place back in 2014. Looking to get ahead of the medical marijuana issue, City Commissions approved an ordinance that limited potential dispensaries to industrial areas.
That language would be struck from the charter since it’s no longer permitted, Ardaman said.