DeBary approves medical marijuana dispensaries – Daytona Beach News-Journal
Katie Kustura @katiekustura
A year after voters made medical marijuana legal in Florida, DeBary has approved dispensaries within city limits.
The City Council last week passed an ordinance 3-1 allowing dispensaries, which, as state law requires, will be treated just like regular pharmacies in terms of where they can locate. City officials said they have not yet been approached by any prospective dispensary developers.
Councilwoman Erika Benfield, who cast the dissenting vote during the Dec. 6 meeting, said she was concerned about dispensaries opening in certain locations, such as near the entrance of a neighborhood or the DeBary Golf and Country Club.
She also said she was concerned about whether dispensaries would be grandfathered into those locations if the state approves recreational marijuana in the future.
Other council members and at least one resident questioned conflating the issues of recreational marijuana and medical marijuana.
“We all know it’s probably coming, but this vote is about medical marijuana, so to bring in recreational and try to confuse the facts is just not proper for this vote,” resident Howard Gates said.
In discussions about medical marijuana, Councilman Mike Brady said he thought he’d heard recreational marijuana mentioned more often than the former.
Councilman Stephen Bacon said city officials need to abide by what the majority of the voters wanted.
Over 70 percent of Floridians voted in favor of medical marijuana in November 2016.
“We just can’t get puritanical about it and say it’s not going to be good in the future,” Bacon said.
Resident Gary Crews, who spoke out against the ordinance, said he sees no logical or rational reason to proceed with dispensaries at this time.
“I think we can agree we’re approaching uncharted territory here,” Crews said. “My concern is that in your desire to make an inclusive society, you’re about to open a