South Florida cities push pause on expansion of medical marijuana industry – Sun Sentinel
Florida’s voters clearly favor medical marijuana, but some cities in South Florida aren’t sold on it.
Places like Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton have temporarily banned marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers until they can assess the effects on the community and establish zoning regulations.
Boca extended its temporary ban on Tuesday, the same day that more than 70 percent of Florida voters agreed to expand the use of medical marijuana. Boca’s freeze is one of at least a half-dozen across South Florida.
“We owe it to our residents and the people of our city to understand the implications of it,” said Christine Thrower, the manager for the village of Golf.
The moratoriums include:
• Boca Raton, Delray Beach and the village of Golf have yearlong prohibitions in place. Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach and Hallandale Beach have six-month freezes, although Hallandale’s is set to expire in January.
• Hollywood and North Palm Beach are considering temporary bans or other regulations on the industry, officials said.
• Many cities, including Boca and Delray, already had a freeze in place because of a similar ballot measure in 2014 that failed.
Marijuana advocates say the temporary bans are premature and based on outdated ideals. The people have spoken, and city officials would do well to listen, said Karen Goldstein, executive director of the Florida chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
“They work for the residents and if the residents overwhelmingly support the rights of patient access to cannabis, then the City Commission should reflect that in their decision,” she said.
Voters approved Amendment 2 on Tuesday night with 71 percent supporting marijuana use for people with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis “or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or