Apopka reconsiders ban on medical marijuana shops – Orlando Sentinel
Apopka City Council members, who banned medical marijuana dispensaries in September, have had a change of heart and now plan to allow them.
City commissioners last week discussed the prohibition and then voted unanimously to revisit the city ban on state-approved shops that dispense physician-prescribed, medical cannabis to qualified patients.
The second thoughts were driven by the Orange County Commission’s decision last month to allow cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated areas, some of which share borders with Apopka.
“We’re going to have it on our doorsteps whether we take action or not,” said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, adding that he voted for the state amendment that broadened the legal, allowable uses for medical marijuana. “It makes no sense, not one bit of sense, for the city of Apopka to continue banning medical marijuana dispensaries.”
Seventy-one percent of Florida voters approved the medical-marijuana amendment in November 2016.
Several Central Florida governments have enacted dispensary bans, with local officials often citing restrictions placed upon them by the Legislature.
Under state rules adopted over the summer, local governments could ban medical marijuana dispensaries or treat them as they would a CVS, a Walgreen’s or other pharmacy. Those limited options meant marijuana dispensaries could pop up closer to churches and neighborhoods, sites that would likely spark more of a public outcry.
The result is a mixed bag for dispensaries.
Winter Garden and Winter Park don’t allow them, Mount Dora and Oviedo do.
Some who imposed temporary bans have said they’re still trying to figure out what to do.
Tavares City Council members recently voted to allow dispensaries in its core business districts, including downtown.
“At the end of the day, Tavares tends to be progressive — the first in Lake County to do things like allowing golf carts