Sarasota to think about banning medicinal marijuana dispensaries

City attorney states new condition law preempts rules city might have considered otherwise.

SARASOTA — In a rapid about-face, Sarasota leaders will consider banning medicinal marijuana dispensaries entirely within city limits.

City planners and mother and father been thinking about new rules to manage and permit dispensaries in Sarasota, in a few limited conditions, since before voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 to legalize medicinal marijuana last fall.

Then they enforced a nine-month moratorium on the introduction of any dispensaries when they and condition leaders vetted their suggested rules.

But underneath the new condition law applying the amendment, signed by Gov. Ron Scott a week ago, metropolitan areas and counties receive a choice to outright ban new dispensaries inside their limitations, and City Attorney Robert Fournier is recommending the town go.

“I don’t think there’s an affordable solution,Inches Fournier stated Thursday. “It does not have in which to stay effect permanently, but due to the timing using the finish from the moratorium and also the new law, (the condition) left us with only one option.”

The surprise reversal springs from the pre-emption towards the city’s suggested zoning limitations incorporated within the state’s final rules, which stipulate local rules for permitting and locating dispensaries might be forget about restrictive compared to rules governing traditional pharmacies.

In Sarasota, that will open large swaths from the city to become potential dispensary places where city leaders have stated they’ve issues, for example downtown, St. Armands Circle and also the North Trail, Fournier stated. Additionally, it means the town would be unable to limit how close they’re to homes or if they might have drive-through home windows, he added.

City leaders were available to the possibilities of allowing dispensaries, however in more limited office-zone areas with distance limitations, they stated at a number of conferences this season. They’d wished to craft new zoning rules before their moratorium on accepting development applications for dispensaries expires This summer 17.

Using the condition excluding such rules by having an “all-or-nothing” group of options, it leaves the town with little latitude with no time to try and stitch together a brand new idea prior to the moratorium ends, Fournier stated. He sees not one other legal choice but to approve the ban, for now at least.

“The effect, in within this situation would be to have a jurisdiction which was willing to get it done and provide them no alternative, for me,Inches he stated. “This way if they would like to get it done, they are able to but it’ll take time longer.”

The recommendations has the strong support from the Sarasota Police Department, that has frequently cautioned city leaders to consider a really conservative method of permitting marijuana companies here, despite their readiness to embrace them.

But SPD and city leaders also highlight the expected ban doesn’t further restrict local patients’ capability to obtain marijuana. Trulieve already delivers to homes through the city from the location in Clearwater and can soon open a dispensary in Bradenton, noted Capt. Corrine Stannish, that has helped get the city’s suggested rules.

“In my estimation, it labored out well that people could opt out,” she stated. “We could do a couple of things at the same time: Make certain (patients) get their access but additionally make certain we do not have all of the issues that explode correctly. I believe it’s an ideal balance, an ideal compromise.”

SPD has frequently reported concerns about dispensaries’ potential criminal negative effects since they’re cash-only companies while marijuana remains illegal federally. A far more conservative approach now also enables the town to look at about how other jurisdictions handle the brand new rules and to adjust to individuals issues whether it progresses, Stannish stated.

Meanwhile, SPD is establishing a system to permit officials to determine the state’s Office of Compassionate Use within any instances they may communicate with someone with marijuana to determine whether it’s legally prescribed and steer clear of confiscating medicine, rather of still-illegal recreational marijuana, Stannish added.

“It’s my own opinion that it’ll go recreational after which there is a whole other gamut which comes into play” for brand new local rules, she stated. “Why do we must maintain a hurry to behave when you are not withholding everything from the patients? I can’t use whatever voter mad in the commissioners.”

Fournier and Stannish will show their recommendation towards the City Commission throughout the board’s 6 p.m. Monday meeting in commission chambers in City Hall at 1565 First St.

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