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Rethinking medical marijuana dispensaries’ ban

City council is considering lifting the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in Boca.  All five members asked staff to draft a new law to allow them. But there are still concerns over limiting the number in city limits.

Council will still have to discuss and vote on a new law. “We’re not taking any action today,” Mayor Scott Singer said at the workshop on Monday.  Council agreed on the move after hearing outpatients who have to get their medicine delivered or go elsewhere.

A doctor, lawyer, and businessman in the industry explained how tightly the state of Florida regulates medical marijuana use.  There are different hours and rules than a pharmacy. “The department of health has control over how we look,” said attorney Tara Tedrow.  Package goods are wrapped and kept under lock and key. “There’s no odor inside,” she said. There’s a space to educate patients.

Prescriptions are for a 70-day supply and only for certain illnesses like epilepsy and cancer, she said. “The state makes sure no one is double dipping,” she added.  Dr. Dominik Chrzan said he’s been prescribing medical cannabis for two years.

“There’s no overdose or addiction. I have 600 patients, all from Boca,” he said. “It would help to have a center to go to for education. Delivery services have no way to educate patients.”

Several council members said they educated themselves by going to a recent industry meeting and a legal dispensary elsewhere.  There are only 103 dispensaries in the state, and they’re limited by county, MedMen’s government affairs director Nick Hansen told city council.

Landlord Phyllis Robinson said she would rent to a dispensary. But the city attorney made it clear the city has no control over leases. And there are restrictions on buildings because marijuana is illegal federally,  Diana Grub Frieser said.

“It know it will take months to amend this and I don’t want the issue to go up in smoke,” said Eric Sevell, a patient and advocate.

By Marci Shatzman

 

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