Pubdate: Wed, 30 May 2018
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Author: Nicole Rodriguez


SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and
sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in

The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its
staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the
growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever
become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent
for the vote.

The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the
county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on
April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana
dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping
Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved
dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by
Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077
Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.

County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh cautioned the commission if the
practice becomes legal statewide, state laws could preempt county laws.

“If there's a constitutional amendment there may be
preemption,” DeMarsh said.

Following the commission's move to ban recreational marijuana, a Leon
County Circuit Court judge last Friday ruled the state's current ban
on smokable cannabis is unconstitutional. Florida's Department of
Health said in a statement it has appealed the ruling, which caused an
automatic stay of the ruling.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 allowing the use of
medical marijuana. The only mention of smoking in the amendment's
language and in an intent document during the 2016 campaign was that
the Legislature and local governments could restrict it in public places.

The Legislature last year passed laws that banned the sale of smoking
products, citing a health risk. The laws, signed by Gov. Rick Scott in
June, say patients can use cannabis through vaping and in food, oils,
sprays and tinctures.
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