The Miami Springs council voted 5-0 Monday to prepare an ordinance approving a temporary moratorium on marijuana dispensaries in the city.
“We are obligated to say where they can be because if we don’t, then they are allowed anywhere,” Mayor Zavier Garcia said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the Compassionate Care Act of 2014 that allows establishment of marijuana dispensing facilities within the state.
So far, six companies have expressed interest in selling medical marijuana in Miami Springs, City Attorney Jan Seiden said at the meeting.
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The City Council directed Seiden to prepare an ordinance for the Sept. 26 meeting specifying where medical marijuana facilities will be permitted to operate. The ordinance requires a first and second public reading, which could push the effective date into October.
Until now, Miami Springs has not addressed locations where these facilities can be placed within its zoning laws, according to a Sept. 12 memo from City Manager William Alonso.
Officials pointed to Orlando and Juno Beach as adopting similar moratoriums. Neighboring Hialeah passed a similar measure this week.
“If someone came to the city before the first reading the city would deny any license or application for use because there is no authority for any such location in the city at this time,” Seiden said. “The city council has already expressed its intent to begin studying the applicable issues for the enactment of appropriate zoning legislation for such establishments in the city.”
In November, Florida voters go to the polls to consider a referendum that may legalize pot for treatment of other additional afflictions.
Residents are invited to express their thoughts about this issue and others at open forum during the Sept. 26 council meeting at City Hall, 201 Westward Dr.