Florida Update: Ft. Lauderdale Defies State Law and Limits Dispensaries

Florida Update: Ft. Lauderdale Defies State Law and Limits Dispensaries

Two questions: When will Florida’s state and local authorities get out of the way of the state’s 72 percent of voters who approved medicinal cannabis in 2017? Will the medical medical marijuana program ever get up and running for the patients who need it?

The latest issue to beset the fledgling program is that, although state law says cities cannot limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries permitted to be set up, Fort Lauderdale plans to do it anyway.

Officials in the Florida’s popular tourist destination near Miami, have said they intend to limit the number to several MMJ dispensaries, according to the Sun Sentinel, even while acknowledging that their decision will not likely hold up in court.

While Ft. Lauderdale’s law only allows a maximum of four MMJ dispensaries citywide, a state law prohibits cities from limiting the number of dispensaries.

A city is allowed to ban them outright, according to a law, but if a city chooses to allow dispensaries, they must be treated like any ordinary pharmacy, without any limits.

Fort Lauderdale justifies the move saying that it had passed its restrictive law before the state law was approved. Hence, some parts of it, including a ban on dispensaries within 1,500 feet of parks, and a distance between them of at least 1,000 feet, are grandfathered in.

The part of the law limiting the number of dispensaries is likely to collapse in court, local officials say, because state law explicitly prohibits that.

Meanwhile the Miami Herald published an article on how and where to get a medical marijuana license in the Florida, which it referred to as “tricky.” The newspaper laid out all the steps to applying for an MMJ card, including the qualifying conditions and where to find physicians.

Still no news on where all the dispensaries might be found.

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