River Cities

Miami Springs extends moratorium on marijuana dispensaries

The Miami Springs City Council has voted 5-0 to extend its moratorium on marijuana dispensaries after state lawmakers' plans to come up with rules last week went up in smoke.

The Compassionate Care Act of 2014 signed into law last July by Florida Gov. Rick Scott allowed the establishment of marijuana dispensing facilities within the state. Miami Springs approved a six-month moratorium on the issuance of marijuana dispensary building and zoning permits last October, awaiting legislative clarification by state leaders.

“I don’t know if we get started on something if we don’t now how they want us to do it,” Mayor Billy Bain said at the May 8 council meeting. “That’s why the moratorium.”

“The City Council further believed that the State of Florida would have duly passed and adopted enabling legislation and regulations for the sale of cannabis,” the ordinance extension states.

Miami Springs has been waiting for state leaders to establish rules before addressing locations where medical marijuana facilities might be placed.

So far, two companies have expressed interest in selling medical marijuana in Miami Springs, according to City Manager William Alonso.

Last April, the first South Florida retail medical marijuana dispensary opened in April just a few blocks from the Miami Springs’ city limits. Trulieve, one of seven cultivators licensed to grow and distribute marijuana in the state, opened its doors at 4020 NW 26th St.

In the meantime, while Miami Springs waits for state rules for implementing the medical marijuana amendment, pot smokers in the city can breathe a sigh of relief — they will be treated the same way as those who loiter and litter.

Anyone possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana in Miami Springs, according to an ordinance passed in October 2016, faces a civil citation and a $100 fine.