Archives for July, 2016

Wilton Manors Says “No Thanks” to Medical Pot Shops

The town of Wilton Manors, FL may have started as a working class suburb to Fort Lauderdale, but in recent years it has developed into one of the most progressive cities in the state.  It’s large LGBTQ population has generally brought with it a more tolerant view on most issues.

However, that openness might not extend to the use of medical cannabis.  The Wilton Manors City Commission has started the process of passing an ordinance that would strictly limit the presence of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.  Specifically, the proposed law would prohibit cannabis dispensaries from locating within 1000 feet of schools, daycares, churches, and other locations.  This buffer zone would effectively eliminate dispensaries from all but a few locations  in the city.

The law also places restrictions on when dispensaries may be open (no later than 6pm and closed on Sundays).  It also requires twice daily trash removal  and “odor filtration” systems.  Additionally, the law seeks to prohibit certain “offensive” words in the business names used by dispensaries, such as “ganja”, “pot”, “weed”, etc.

It still remains to be seen whether this ordinance will pass, but it is likely to be one of many similar laws that will  pop up around the state as medical marijuana continues its march towards legalization.

The Publix War on Weed … Where Shopping Might Not Be a Pleasure

Floridians have always taken pride in having one of the nation’s best supermarket chains.  Publix usually enjoys a wonderful reputation based on its clean, well-stocked stores and its high level of customer service.  In fact, Publix recently placed second in a Consumer Reports ranking of all supermarkets nationwide.  Plus, their chicken fingers are the perfect remedy for a case of the munchies!

However, recent political contributions by Publix heiress, Carol Jenkins Barnett, is causing many advocates of medical marijuana to reconsider their support for this Florida grocery behemoth.  Ms. Barnett recently donated $800,000 to help fund the anti-medical marijuana campaign in Florida.  This donation comes as Floridians prepare to head to the polls for a crucial second chance vote to legalize medical cannabis.  It will  no doubt be used by anti-pot groups to fund advertising, which has been controversial for its dubious claims about the “dangers” of allowing legal access to patients.

So, next time you find yourself with the munchies, think about Ms. Barnett and consider Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or  another one of the shopping options available in our state.

First Medical Marijuana Delivered in Florida! … Now What?

After a seemingly never-ending series of delays, lawsuits and other road blocks, the first delivery of medical cannabis under the Charlotte’s Web law has taken place.  This past week, a patient in Hudson, Florida legally received cannabis from the State’s first dispensary, Trulieve in Tallahassee.

Granted, the number of patients who qualify under the Charlotte’s Web law is quite limited and for most of them only low-THC cannabis is available.  However, this is still another important step in the path to sensible marijuana laws in Florida.  Another brick in the wall of prohibition has been chipped away.

So, the question is .. “Now What?”

Well, first and foremost, we will see the system for registering patients, certifying doctors and establishing dispensing organizations continue to develop and evolve.  There are currently only a handful of doctors who have completed the necessary class for certification to recommend cannabis.  But more are being added every day.  There is also only one dispensing organization actively distributing cannabis, but four more have been granted licenses and are working towards being operational.  The law has been modified to allow for more dispensing organizations as the patient pool expands.

The most notable event remaining on the horizon is the November 8th election.  On that date, Floridians will be given a second chance to pass a much broader medical cannabis law that will allow patients suffering from a much wider group of ailments to access marijuana legally.  If that measure passes, the face of medical cannabis will change drastically in the state.

So, this week’s developments show that we continue to move in the right direction, but there is still work that remains to be done as we work to knock down the wall of prohibition.