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Breaking news: Boca ends medical marijuana dispensary ban

Boca ended the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in a close city council 3-2 vote.

Mayor Scott Singer and council members Andy Thomson and Monica Mayotte voted yes. Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers and councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke voted no.

“This is not a lack of compassion, it’s not knowing the unintended consequences,” said O’Rourke. “I would proceed with caution.”

The new law goes into effect immediately. It’s designed to control how many dispensaries are allowed in Boca. To do that, the city amended the zoning for retail pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries.

Dispensaries are now permitted uses in commercial and other nonresidential areas of the city. Not near schools.

The law requires “no more than one retail pharmacy and one dispensing facility per development. Only applicable to new retail pharmacies and dispensing facilities if ordinance approved.”

Council also amended the law to shrink the square footage required from 5,000 to 2,500 square feet. That was designed to prevent large companies the state has legalized as dispensaries from cornering the market.

The vote came at a second public hearing at the council meeting Tuesday night. People spoke for and against allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in Boca. They’re already permitted nearby, including Palm Beach County and Deerfield Beach.

By Marci Shatzman

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