With Manatee County’s temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensing facilities set to expire next month, county staff presented how such facilities will be treated in county codes.
During Thursday’s Manatee County Planning Commission meeting, county staff presented a proposed Land Development Code Amendment for medical marijuana dispensing facilities, which the planning commission recommended for approval and the county commission will consider Sept. 7. The moratorium is set to expire Sept. 16.
“We are required to amend our code to be consistent with statute,” said Sarah Schenk, assistant county attorney. “Each city regulates itself. ...We are only dealing with retail sale of the product.”
Since medical marijuana is a land use not currently addressed in Manatee County, the temporary moratorium gave the county an opportunity to review all the laws, a county planner said in December when county commissioners first enacted the moratorium.
In Manatee County, cultivating and processing facilities will be considered agricultural uses and will require an administrative permit, according to Margaret Tusing, a county planner. For medical marijuana dispensing facilities, it will be classified as “retail sales, neighborhood convenience” zoning and also require administrative permit, which are issued by staff, Tusing added.
“We are focusing on land use issues,” Tusing said.