Bradenton Beach officials are considering a medical marijuana moratorium, which they will discuss further at a city commission meeting Thursday.
“What we’re trying to do is to create a moratorium — basically a timeout — so that we can see how to control the distribution centers, if there is a need for control where the distribution centers will be at,” Bradenton Beach Mayor William Shearon said. “In some respects, it’s kind of like adult entertainment places: They’re restricted in other words. We want to look at where the distribution places would be.”
Shearon said when he heard about Manatee County officials possibly enacting a 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated Manatee County, he decided to put the subject of a moratorium on the Bradenton Beach’s agenda for Thursday’s meeting at 6 p.m. at Bradenton Beach City Hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach.
“Right now if somebody came in and they wanted a distribution center, in other words they want to sell medical marijuana, we’d have to give it to them no matter where it was,” the Bradenton Beach mayor added. “This way with the moratorium, we can determine that. We’re just trying to get ahead of the curve before it happens.”
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What we’re trying to do is to create a moratorium — basically a timeout — so that we can see how to control the distribution centers, if there is a need for control where the distribution centers will be at. In some respects, it’s kind of like adult entertainment places: They’re restricted in other words.
Bradenton Beach Mayor William Shearon
According to Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy, it’s impossible to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Anna Maria because of a city ordinance in place.
“We have an ordinance already in place that prohibits the sale, cultivation and packaging of marijuana,” he said in reference to Ordinance No. 16-820, adding that the city’s definition of marijuana includes medical marijuana. “We just didn’t want smoke shops and things of that nature in our city (like Denver).”
Before voters in Florida on Nov. 8 approved Amendment 2 — which allows access to medical marijuana for patients suffering from debilitating illnesses — Holmes Beach Commission members discussed the subject. In late October, officials agreed to have city attorney Patricia Petruff draft an ordinance establishing regulations for medical marijuana in the city.
“It’s still coming in front of us for a vote,” said Holmes Beach Commission Chairwoman Judy Titsworth on Tuesday night. “It’s just a moratorium right now so we can get a handle on this.”