Dale White Staff Writer @dalewhiteHT
BRADENTON – With one medical marijuana dispensary already in business, Bradenton will allow no others to open within the city limits.
In a 4-0 vote, with Councilman Gene Brown absent, the City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that bans additional dispensaries.
The law provides for “one limited exception” – the Trulieve dispensary that opened Sept. 19 at 1103 14th St. W.
In a public hearing, no one spoke against the ordinance.
Rita Chamberlain, associate director of Drug Free Manatee, spoke in favor.
“There is no down side,” Chamberlain told the council, which she commended for preventing “a proliferation of dispensaries.” She said the city needs to maintain “local control” of such businesses.
On Nov. 8, 2016, Florida’s voters legalized the prescribing of marijuana for medical conditions. Trulieve filed for a business license prior to the City Council passing a temporary moratorium on dispensaries.
The law notes that other medical marijuana dispensaries could be allowed within unincorporated Manatee County.
A county ordinance requires dispensaries to not to be within 500 feet of a public or private school.
The Venice City Council unanimously voted to prohibit dispensaries within its jurisdiction. The city of Sarasota and town of Longboat Key have similar bans, though Sarasota is looking to modify its approach that would treat dispensaries the same as stand-alone pharmacies.
Sarasota County has a standing ordinance that would allow dispensaries via special exception.