FL: Titusville To Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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Photo Credit: PAUL BUCKOWSKI

Add Titusville to the list of cities that will allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Titusville City Council voted last week 3-2 to allow the dispensaries, following two moratoriums and months of debate over the issue. Rockledge, Palm Bay, Palm Shores and Satellite Beach have also approved ordinances pertaining to medical marijuana distribution.

Two Titusville City Council members, Mayor Walt Johnson and Sarah Stoeckel, remained opposed to the ordinance.

“It’s not that I’m against medical marijuana, I want to make sure our citizens have access to it,… I do believe our citizens do, just on the research I’ve done personally,” said Stoeckel. “They can get it in Edgewater, and if they don’t want to drive, it’s a flat rate of $25 (for delivery).”

Johnson, who has been vocal about his opposition from the start, felt that voters were swayed, and the medical marijuana issue was a “big hoax” put on by those with money and questionable motives in Orlando, he said.

He was referring to the medical marijuana vote in Nov. 2016 that passed with 71.3 percent support of the issue. Of Brevard County voters, 70.9 percent voted in favor of the amendment.

“You want to do what’s best for the people, and I can’t get away from that 71 percent vote. I just don’t know how to do that,” said council member Dan Diesel. ” We thought this over long and hard, moratoriumed it twice, so I feel comfortable and I don’t think we’re going to have dispensaries coming in like auto stores.”

The approved Titusville ordinance allows for dispensaries to follow the same regulations as pharmacies, including where they can be located. There are restrictions: Dispensaries must be at least 500 feet away from both public and private schools, and medical marijuana can only be dispensed between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Next up is the Brevard County Commission, which will host the first of two public hearings on the issue Tuesday. The county’s moratorium banning the dispensaries will expire March 9. Commissioners have been debating the issue since May 2017.

Commissioners could go with the staff proposal to let the moratorium “sunset” or expire without action; or ban medical marijuana treatment centers in unincorporated Brevard.

Cities in Brevard that have banned dispensaries include: Cocoa, Grant/Valkaria and Melbourne. Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Malabar currently have moratoriums in place.

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