Palatka to consider marijuana moratorium
Palatka city commissioners will likely vote to extend a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana operations in the city during today’s regularly scheduled meeting.
According to city documents, city commissioners voted Jan. 12 to institute a six-month moratorium on the operation of marijuana treatment centers and licensed dispensing organizations “because the city’s planning/zoning code and land development regulations do not address the use of real property for uses of cultivating, processing, distributing or selling medical marijuana, low TWH cannabis or related activities.
“The city’s planning/zoning code has not yet been updated to address the issue,” city documents said.
On Nov. 8, 2016, Florida voters passed Constitutional Amendment No. 2, which legalizes the medical use of marijuana. The amendment passed with 71 percent of voters approving.
On Wednesday, state House Speaker Richard Corcoran called for a special legislative session to finalize rules for instituting medical marijuana’s implementation in the state, according to the Associated Press.
According to Corcoran, if the state Legislature does not implement rules, the state Department of Health would develop guidelines by July 3 and implement them in October.
One of the biggest contentions, according to the Associated Press, is the state Legislature couldn’t “agree on how many retail dispensaries a medical marijuana treatment center could operate.”
City staff recommends commissioners approve an extension of the moratorium an additional six months.
“The commission is being asked to extend the moratorium for an additional six months in order to provide more time to research, study and analyze the potential impact of such uses upon adjacent uses and the surrounding areas, as well as other aspects of the public safety and welfare,” city documents said.
Also during the meeting, Riverfront Development Group’s Corky Diamond is scheduled to provide an update on the progress of the 100 block development.
City commissioners are scheduled to meet 6 p.m. today at city hall, 201 N. Second St.