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FL: Clay County Commission Imposes Temporary Medical Marijuana Moratorium

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
Green Cove Springs - The Clay County Commission has adopted a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana treatment centers and licensed dispensaries for up to one year.

Voting unanimously Jan. 24, commissioners approved the measure that either could be rescinded earlier or be extended longer by a subsequent county ordinance, Holly Coyle, county economic and development services director, told the commission.

Effective immediately, the temporary moratorium applies to the unincorporated areas of Clay County. Clay becomes the most recent statewide to impose a moratorium until land use and other regulations are developed to govern such establishments. Northeast Florida municipalities including Orange Park, Green Cove Springs, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach are among those with similar moratoriums.

Commissioner Gayward Hendry, before the vote, said state legislators in Tallahassee told him they don't expect a lengthy delay in implementation of the statewide measure.

"They're going to move on this soon. So, I don't see a long delay in what we'll be doing eventually," Hendry said.

Florida voters Nov. 8 overwhelmingly – 71 percent statewide – approved Amendment 2, which expands medical use of marijuana for people with debilitating medical conditions. It also authorizes licensed businesses in Florida to acquire, produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes.

The Florida Department of Health already had established the Office of Compassionate Use to begin implementing a state law authorizing the prescribing and distribution of low—THC cannabis or medical cannabis for some patients diagnosed with serious, life—threatening medical conditions.

Clay County currently does not have any land use or other regulations addressing medical marijuana dispensaries or treatment centers, Coyle said.

Coyle has said the county needs sufficient time to research, study and analyze the potential impact and compatibility of such facilities upon adjacent land uses and surrounding areas.

Factors to be considered include traffic, congestion, surrounding property values, demand for county services, and other aspects of the public safety and welfare to determine what uses are best suited for particular zoning categories. In addition, consideration must be given to how best to formulate land development regulations that appropriately govern the use of land for cultivation, processing, distribution or selling medical marijuana or related activities, Coyle's said.


News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Clay County Commission Imposes Temporary Medical Marijuana Moratorium
Author: Teresa Stepzinski
Contact: (904) 359-4111
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Website: jacksonville.com
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