Boca Raton is one of the most luxurious and well visited cities in Southern Florida and maintaining that image may be part of their recent motivation to keep medical marijuana dispensaries out. The vote on making marijuana legal is only a few short days away and this would allow shops that sell it to open up their doors legally. This week, Boca placed an ordinance that puts a moratorium on any dispensaries for a minimum of one year.
Boca is not the only city in Southern Florida to introduce this ordinance as Coconut Creek is also seeking to implement a six week moratorium and Boynton Beach City will discuss the matter further as well. Voters are slated to vote on November 4 at which time it will be decided as to whether or not the moratorium passes. However the outcome is likely to be that the ordinance will be approved as the city has a history of placing restrictions on area businesses. For instance car dealerships with acres of cars on their lots are not allowed within city limits.
The one year delay has been proposed to allow time to develop zoning regulations for the medical marijuana dispensaries. According to assistant city manager Mike Woika, “We want to see what comes up and get some rules out there.” The ordinance, if approved, will also allow the moratorium to extend further than a year if it is approved. Woika states to the Sun Sentinel that “It would probably end up like bars, restaurants, and adult districts” in the city.
Although the legalization of medical marijuana is yet to be finalized, the proposed ordinance would buy the city time to determine how they will regulate the dispensaries that would open throughout the city. Depending on the regulations made by the State of Florida itself, Boca Raton may be able to decide how and where the dispensaries operate throughout the city.
Time will tell how the city plans develop and how the community responds to the proposed ordinance is yet to be seen.