Wilton Manors commissioners have approved allowing the opening of marijuana treatment centers in certain parts of the city.
At their Jan. 23 meeting, commissioners voted to approve the centers and redefined pharmacies to make them in line with the state’s definition. The city also approved the repeal of previous regulations because they weren’t in line with requirements by Tallahassee.
The Florida Legislature has given every local government a choice – treat marijuana treatment centers as pharmacies or ban the centers entirely. Wilton Manors officials chose the former.
If someone does open a treatment center, as long as it is located at least 500 feet from a school or daycare center, they will be able to do so in the Arts & Entertainment District, Oakland Park Boulevard, Andrews Avenue, Northeast 26 Street, and a small part of Powerline Road. At a previous meeting, Mayor Gary Resnick said someone had approached him about opening a treatment center, but the mayor did not name the person.
Resnick said he’s met residents who use medical marijuana and he thinks a treatment center in the city would provide much-needed convenience to them, as opposed to having to travel to Miami or get their medicine in the mail. “I’m glad we decided not to ban them,” said Resnick.
“Given the options we have, this is the right way to go,” said Vice Mayor Justin Flippen. “I understand we’re limited by the state. I wish we weren’t,” said Commissioner Julie Carson.
Commissioner Tom Green said he was supportive of allowing treatment centers. “Any business, within reason, that wants to open in the Arts & Entertainment District is better than a bar.” But he expressed some nervousness at what could happen in the future.
Currently, medical marijuana is provided in pill form. “In the future, there may be a lot of smoke coming from these places. Let’s see what the legislature does,” said Green. Resnick also said the city would most likely have to alter its own policies on employees using medical marijuana.
Commissioners, on Jan. 23 and a previous meeting, expressed worries about rents going up even more on Wilton Drive if a treatment center opens. They also talked about how the new regulations might limit other businesses from opening in the Arts & Entertainment District, such as sleep disorder clinics. “I think we’re limiting the diversity of our community,” Carson said.