Pubdate: Wed, 19 Jul 2017
Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Copyright: 2017 Orlando Sentinel
Author: Martin E. Comas


Oviedo City Council members this week agreed to let the city's
moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expire Aug. 5, making it
likely that Oviedo will become the first Seminole County municipality
to allow such businesses.

Council members also directed city staffers Monday to draft an
ordinance that will treat medical marijuana dispensaries under the
same zoning regulations as pharmacies.

Pharmacies in Oviedo are allowed to operate only in certain office and
commercial zoning districts, which are mostly located along major
thoroughfares. Council members are expected to vote on a new ordinance
in the coming weeks to allow pharmacies and medical marijuana
dispensaries to operate only in certain commercial zoning districts,
but not in zoning districts for offices.

"This could be a drug that helps people with certain debilitating
illnesses, and who are we stand in the way," Mayor Dominic Persampiere

In November, 71 percent of Florida voters approved a state
constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

The Legislature, however, later enacted new rules that give local
governments the choice of either banning medical marijuana retail
outlets or regulating them exactly the same as pharmacies.

Council member Steve Henken pointed out that on average, about 70
percent of Oviedo voters voted in favor the constitutional amendment.

"Those are the city of Oviedo residents speaking at the ballot box,"
he said. "When the people speak, I'm going to listen. aE& And this
might help some folks who are sick."

Steve Edmonds was among several Oviedo residents who spoke in favor of
letting the moratorium expire and said the government "should get out
of the way" regarding medical marijuana dispensaries.

Oviedo had put in place its 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana
facilities Feb. 6.

Elsewhere in Central Florida, Orange County commissioners Tuesday
asked attorneys to look into both options -- either a total ban or
allowing dispensaries -- before they make a final decision on
dispensaries in unincorporated areas in the county.
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