As Miami Beach works to develop zoning regulations that will determine where medical marijuana dispensaries can open, a majority of the City Commission on Wednesday voted down an extension to a temporary ban on such businesses.
After passing an initial 4-3 vote in January, the extension that would have pushed the moratorium to May 17 died in a 4-3 vote Wednesday. Commissioners Joy Malakoff, Ricky Arriola and John Elizabeth Alemán voted in favor. Commissioners Michael Grieco, Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, Micky Steinberg and Mayor Philip Levine voted against.
Steinberg initially voted to extend the moratorium on first reading, but she opposed it Wednesday because the process to create local zoning rules, which is already under way, would effectively create a temporary ban. Since the city’s planning board will review a proposal Feb. 28, zoning laws would prevent dispensaries from opening while the city reviews new regulations.
“As such, planning board will review and zoning in progress will be in place, which, in effect, is a moratorium,” Steinberg said.
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Commissioners first voted on a four-month ban Nov. 9, the day after Florida voters approved Amendment 2. The commission’s land use committee will discuss proposed zoning rules at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb 15.