FL: Jax Council Committee Defers Cannabis Regulations Change

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Photo Credit: National Pain Report

Committees run Monday and Tuesday for the Jacksonville City Council; measures will be considered. All bills that aren’t withdrawn will be voted on at the Mar. 27 meeting of the full Council.

Marijuana changes deferred: Ordinance 2018-75 would revise extant code relative to medical cannabis. The code was formulated in response to “Charlotte’s Web” low-THC cannabis being the sole legal strain, and after a long period of debate, processing and dispensing were allowed in commercial districts, with cultivation allowed in agricultural districts.

The ordinance would change things, allowing dispensaries anywhere in the city, including within 500 feet of a school. The previous zoning categories would be revoked. The bill was in the Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety committee Monday, and there were questions galore.

The bill was in the Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety committee Monday, and there were questions galore.

“This bill puts our code in compliance with Florida statutes,” said a representative from the office of general counsel. “The statute prohibits cultivation and processing facilities within 500 feet of a school” but allows a dispensary given a waiver within 500 feet.

Counties do have the right to ban dispensaries entirely if they have no ordinances on the books. But because there was existing ordinance, bill sponsor Matt Schellenberg said the county could not ban dispensaries, even as individual cities have done this.

This bill, which only applies to the city of Jacksonville, will be deferred, with multiple Council members having questions about how to bring local ordinance in line with state law.

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