By Sallie James

    For the second time in two years, the city is considering a one-year moratorium on the operation of medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensing organizations.
    No one from the public commented on the matter during the Oct. 25 public hearing. A second public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8.
    The moratorium gives Boca Raton time to address possible land-development regulations should voters approve a Florida ballot measure Nov. 8 legalizing the use of medical marijuana. The same measure failed to get voters’ approval in 2014.
    The city is considering extending its previous one-year moratorium because of Boca Raton’s historical prohibition of marijuana use and cultivation. As a result, no existing land-development regulations in Boca Raton address its permitted use.
    A previous moratorium on operating medical marijuana treatment centers ended when the 2014 ballot measure failed, but the one for dispensing and cultivation facilities remains in effect until Nov. 10.
    Amendment 2 would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to anyone with cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s disease or other conditions for which they believe the medical use of marijuana “would likely outweigh the potential health risks for the patient.”
    Since 2014, the Florida Legislature has revised the definition of “dispensing organization” to include the transportation of cannabis and to include the use of “medical cannabis” for eligible patients with terminal conditions.
    City Council member Robert Weinroth clarified that the proposed moratorium would not affect distribution of cannabis to anyone in Boca Raton who had medical need.
    “Patients who live in this city would still have the availability. It just would not be dispensed in this city,” Weinroth said.

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