It is well documented that 71.32% of Floridians that voted in the November 8, 2016 general election voted in favor of Constitution Amendment No. 2 to expand the existing Florida medical marijuana program called "Charlotte's Web" (signed by Governor Scott on June 16, 2014). Amendment No. 2, which became effective on January 3, 2017, called for the Florida Legislature and the Florida Department of Health to issue final regulations on marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries. On June 9, 2017, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 8-A. The bill, signed into law by Governor Scott, establishes regulatory guidelines for expanding medical marijuana use in Florida.
As a City Council, we now have the terms prescribed under the new law (SB 8-A). Accordingly, we need to understand what decisions, if any, we would like to make regarding medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries within the Gulfport city limits.
use in any form of public transportation, except for low-THC 225 cannabis
use in a qualified patient’s place of employment, except when permitted by his or her employer
use in the grounds of a preschool, primary school, or secondary school
use in a school bus, a vehicle, an aircraft, or a motorboat, except for low-THC cannabis
The department shall create and maintain a secure, electronic, and online medical marijuana use registry for physicians, patients, and caregivers.
The department shall license medical marijuana treatment centers to ensure reasonable statewide accessibility and availability for qualified patients in the medical marijuana use registry.
The department shall license as a medical marijuana treatment center any entity that holds an active, unrestricted license to cultivate, process, transport, and dispense low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, and cannabis delivery devices.
Dispensing Facilities are subject to the following requirements:
A medical marijuana treatment center may not establish or operate more than a statewide maximum of 25 dispensing facilities, unless the medical marijuana use registry reaches a total of 100,000 active registered qualified patients.
A medical marijuana treatment center that produces edibles must hold a permit to operate as a food establishment, and must comply with all the requirements for food establishments.
A medical marijuana treatment center may not dispense from its premises marijuana or a marijuana delivery device between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., but may perform all other operations and deliver marijuana to qualified patients 24 hours a day.
A medical marijuana treatment center must report to local law enforcement within 24 hours after the medical marijuana treatment center is notified or becomes aware of the theft, diversion, or loss of marijuana.
The dispensing location of a medical marijuana treatment center may have a sign that is affixed to the outside or hanging in the window of the premises which identifies the dispensary by the licensee’s business name.
Medical marijuana treatment centers are the sole source from which a qualified patient may legally obtain marijuana.
PREEMPTION.—Regulation of cultivation, processing, and delivery of marijuana by medical marijuana treatment centers is preempted to the state.
A medical marijuana treatment center, cultivating or processing facility may not be located within 500 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school.
A county or municipality may, by ordinance, ban medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities from being located within the boundaries of that county or municipality.
A county or municipality that does not ban dispensing facilities may not place specific limits, by ordinance, on the number of dispensing facilities that may locate within that county or municipality.
A municipality may determine by ordinance the criteria for the location of, and other permitting requirements that do not conflict with state law or department rule for medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities located within the boundaries of that municipality.
A county or municipality may not enact ordinances for permitting or for determining the location of dispensing facilities which are more restrictive than its ordinances permitting or determining the locations for pharmacies licensed under chapter 465.
A municipality or county may not charge a medical marijuana treatment center a license or permit fee in an amount greater than the fee charged by such municipality or county to pharmacies.
A medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facility may not be located within 500 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school unless the county or municipality approves the location through a formal proceeding open to the public at which the county or municipality determines that the location promotes the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community.
The law does not prohibit any local jurisdiction from ensuring medical marijuana treatment center facilities comply with the Florida Building Code, the Florida Fire Prevention Code, or any local amendments to the Florida Building Code or the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
Marijuana and marijuana delivery devices are exempt from the taxes.
Florida Municipalities to Decide Next Step
Adopt An Ordinance In Accordance with the Terms in the New Law: Allow Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers
Continue or Adopt a Moratorium to Wait on Deciding to Allow MTCs or Ban MTCs
Ban Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers
NOTE:Qualifying patients on the state's medical marijuana registry (which is mandatory) are not prevented from getting their medicinal marijuana from any state certified medical marijuana treatment center...even if the city the patient lives in has a medical marijuana treatment facility ban.