Florida became the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana a week ago. Amendment 2 was on the ballot in 2014 but failed to pass, receiving 58% of the vote (Florida requires 60% or more for constitutional amendments).
The second time was the charm, as the 2016 version of the initiative received 71% of the vote. Medical marijuana was so popular in 2016 that Amendment 2 won in literally every county of Florida.
Unfortunately there are still people in Florida that oppose medical marijuana. Like many other states that have voted to reform marijuana laws, bans and moratoriums have been popping up across Florida which will prevent medical marijuana businesses from opening where the bans and moratoriums exist.
Places like Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton have temporarily banned marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers until they can assess the effects on the community and establish zoning regulations.
Boca extended its temporary ban on Tuesday, the same day that more than 70 percent of Florida voters agreed to expand the use of medical marijuana. Boca’s freeze is one of at least a half-dozen across South Florida.
“We owe it to our residents and the people of our city to understand the implications of it,” said Christine Thrower, the manager for the village of Golf.
Florida’s medical marijuana law does not permit home cultivation. As such, patients will not be able to acquire medical marijuana legally via any other means other than visiting a licensed dispensary. In cities and towns that have put bans in place, patients there will have no way to get safe access to their medicine.
The bans are only temporary, but there’s a chance that they could become permanent. Rules have to be drafted and approved, and licenses granted before medical marijuana will be for sale in Florida, a process of which will likely not be done before the bans expire.