Count Fort Lauderdale among a growing list of Florida cities taking a wait and see approach on medical marijuana.
Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Dean Trantalis said the city has imposed a 180-day moratorium on the cultivation, processing, dispensing and sale of the drug within city limits. The moratorium, Trantalis said, is intended to give city planners time to draft zoning regulations.
“The city staff will look at such issues as where dispensaries should be allowed to operate, whether there should be a limit on how many can exist and whether there should be restrictions on how close they can be to each other,” Trantalis writes in his January newsletter. “The city will also undertake an analysis to determine the potential impact on crime, city services, the value of surrounding property, traffic congestion and other aspects of health, safety and welfare.”
In last November’s general election, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution allowing for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The amendment was approved by 76 percent of registered voters in Broward County.
Doctors will now be permitted to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from debilitating conditions. In his newsletter, Trantalis lists conditions such as cancer, ALS and post-traumatic stress disorder as qualifying ailments for a marijuana prescription.
Florida’s Office of Compassionate Use has until Oct. 3 to implement the amendment. Christian Bax, Office of Compassionate Use Director, told the Associated Press patients must have an established 90-day relationship with their doctor before a marijuana prescription is written.
“We hope to have our rules in place before any requirements are imposed by the Legislature or state health department,” Trantalis writes. “Many of us remember too well how the state limited local government’s ability to deal with the massive expansion of short-term vacation rentals and the massive problems with noise, parking and trash faced by neighboring residents.”