Miami Beach commissioners on Wednesday will consider creating three zones where medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to open — one in each of the island city’s three sections: South, Middle and North Beach.
As Florida’s new regulated medical cannabis program grows, local governments are discussing how to allow dispensaries into their communities. Dispensaries are locations where patients with a qualifying condition and approval from their doctors can obtain medical marijuana. The passage of Amendment 2 in November expanded the number of qualifying conditions to include PTSD, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating medical conditions. Before Amendment 2, only a few debilitating conditions, including cancer, qualified.
The proposal would allow nondescript storefronts to open. Window displays would be prohibited, and transactions would not be allowed to be seen from the street. Signage and advertisements would be limited.
An recently opened dispensary in Miami reflects some of these aesthetics. It has no windows. The lobby is sparsely furnished, and the dispensary room behind closed doors is accessible only after attendants verify the client’s eligibility for medical cannabis and the recommendation from a state-approved doctor.
This week, the city is only considering initial approval of zoning rules. Officials still have to develop a process for issuing the three business licenses for future dispensaries.
As Miami Beach commissioners prepare for an initial vote on their zoning ordinance, we want to know what you think about the possibility of three dispensaries opening in the city.