Rita Chamberlain, associate director and CFO of Drug Free Manatee, saluted the Bradenton City Council on Wednesday for finalizing its ban on allowing any more medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.
“I’m thrilled the council feels there is no local room to regulate this even if you are not opposed to dispensaries,” Chamberlain said following a unanimous vote to enact the ban. “It’s important to have local control to regulate this going forward.”
Chamberlain said there are still too many unknowns, as well as litigation surrounding Amendment 2, which allowed the use of medical marijuana in Florida.
“Waiting to see how that all plays out is an effective policy-making decision,” she said. “There is no harm in being patient.”
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Wednesday’s vote came after the city’s second public hearing on enacting the ban. On Sept. 27, the council indicated that the ban may not be permanent. City attorney Bill Lisch said the ban was the simplest way to approach the subject until regulatory requirements and potential legal actions are sorted out.
“There are going to be changes,” he said. “I don’t know what those changes will be, but we do know there will be and that’s where we can always bring this back up.”
The exception to the ban is Trulieve’s dispensary in the 1100 block of 14th Street West, which celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 19. Trulieve filed for the permits prior to the city enacting the first of two, six-month moratoriums following last year’s election.
Palmetto is expected to finalize its ban on Oct. 16 and will join Bradenton, Anna Maria and Holmes Beach thus far in implementing the bans. Manatee County will allow dispensaries in unincorporated areas with stipulations.