The state has yanked control of medical marijuana dispensaries from local governments by creating its own set of regulations, sending some Treasure Coast governments scrambling to adapt. NICOLE RODRIGUEZ/TCPALM Wochit
Marijuana products, including pre-rolled cigarettes and buds are displayed at the medical marijuana dispensary owned by Tim Blake near Laytonville, Calif., in 2016. The St. Lucie County Commission on Tuesday postponed voting on rules to regulate medical-marijuana dispensaries.(Photo: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The state has grabbed control of medical-marijuana dispensaries away from local governments by creating its own set of regulations, sending some Treasure Coast governments scrambling to adapt.
The Legislature earlier this month passed Senate Bill 8A, which trumps local laws which cities and counties have imposed to regulate where and how medical-marijuana dispensaries can operate.
Gov. Rick Scott has pledged to sign the bill.
Passed June 9, the bill prohibits local governments from creating more restrictive laws for dispensaries than they have for pharmacies. At the same time, it gives governments the power to ban the facilities entirely.
The law would prohibit local governments from establishing required distances between dispensaries. Some governments, such as St. Lucie County, already had done just that.
Scott’s anticipated signature means several Treasure Coast governments now must repeal or change rules and regulations they already created.
Vero Beach currently allows medical-marijuana dispensaries as a conditional use in areas zoned for industry, and restricts them to at least 1,000 feet from any school, daycare center or public park — regulations in conflict with the impending state law.
Vero Beach approved what could become the Treasure Coast’s first dispensary, Clearwater-based Trulieve, which plans to open on Commerce Avenue in Vero Beach after getting approval last month from the Planning and Zoning Commission.