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Changes are coming to Florida after the Nov. 8 election and Manatee County is considering additional regulations on the growing and dispensing of medical marijuana.

Amendment 2, a state constitutional amendment to expand the use of medical marijuana, was approved by 71 percent of statewide voters.

The amendment “allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician” and “allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana.” Patients and caregivers approved to use or assist in the use of medical marijuana will be issued identification cards by the Florida Department of Health, which also will regulate sellers of medical marijuana.

Patients with medical marijuana cards will be allowed to keep three small plants for personal use at home.

The Manatee County Board of Commissioners opted Oct. 25 to begin a 180-day moratorium to regulate “the acceptance and processing of new applications for the establishment of medical marijuana processing and dispensing facilities in Manatee County.”

The moratorium would effectively stop medical marijuana dispensaries and grow houses from opening in the county for six months while the county considers legislation regarding medical marijuana.

County commissioners scheduled two public hearings on the issue, the first at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, after press time for The Islander.

The moratorium would affect unincorporated Manatee County, not municipalities.

In Holmes Beach, commissioners agreed Oct. 25 to delay considering a moratorium after the vote. Now that the amendment has passed, Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer asked commissioners to revisit the issue.

“It’s scheduled for an upcoming work session,” Tokajer said.

Tokajer supports banning medical marijuana grow houses and dispensaries in the city.

“I think we should just say ‘No’,” Tokajer said during the October meeting.

Commissioners will revisit the issue during a December work session.

In Anna Maria, commissioners adopted an ordinance Sept. 8 banning the growing, cultivation, processing and sale of marijuana.

Bradenton Beach commissioners agreed Nov. 17 to have city attorney Ricinda Perry draft a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana sales, growing and cultivation for discussion at a December meeting.

Amendment 2 will go into effect in January 2017.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Manatee County Seeks Medical Marijuana Moratorium
Author: Kristin Swain
Contact: (941) 778-7978
Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan
Website: The Islander