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Local Governments Free to Ban Pot Shops

June 14th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

88 Florida cities have adopted moratoriums or other restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries, As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the bill lawmakers passed for medical pot will let cities or counties ban the dispensaries altogether.

A fight over how many retail locations medical marijuana growers can operate delayed legislative action for a month. When a compromise appeared during last weeks special session, it contained something not seen before:  authorization for local governments to ban dispensaries. Sen. Kevin Rader was unhappy.

“Why are we allowing local elected officials in any county or municipality to override the will of the voter?” asked Rader.

The legislation now awaits the Governors signature, which Rick Scott says will be forthcoming.

Cities and Counties have a choice when it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries. Treat them like a drug store, or ban them.

Sponsor Rob Bradley says allowing the ban was part of the grease that made the pot deal possible.


“I would disagree with such a decision, but if a local jurisdiction would like to not have dispensaries in there area, they have that ability to do that. I hope they don’t exercise that ability” says Bradley.

Casey Cook is the Senior Legislative Advocate for the League of Cities

Q:”Do you think some local governments will ban medical marijuana dispensaries?” we asked.

“It’s too early to tell. I would think with 412 cities in the state, you would have some cities that decide to ban the retail space. that being said, medical marijuana would still be available to patients in those communities, either from a dispensary in a neighboring city or the unincorporated county, or through direct delivery” says Cook.

While bans are possible, Only three counties in Florida saw a medical marijuana vote below 60 percent. even there a majority in all three still said yes.

In addition to 88 cities, four counties have restrictions on marijuana dispensaries. Once the legislation becomes law, those four (Sumpter, Osceola, Hernando, and Columbia) will likely have to revisit their ordinances to conform them with state law.

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