INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - Hoping to get in front of the issue if Amendment 2 passes, the Indian River County Commission decided Tuesday where any future medical marijuana centers would be established.
Indian River County has been looking at the medical marijuana issue since 2014, when a prior constitutional amendment was narrowly defeated.
Community Development Director Stan Boling says if Amendment 2 passes, any medical marijuana treatment center would be confined to a general industrial area between US 1 and Old Dixie Highway in the southern part of the county.
“With respect to medical marijuana, there can be abuses, there can be problems, negative impacts because of it so we wanted to try and restrict the locations to keep them in safe places," said Boling.
The county originally had a similar ordinance on the books back in 2011 when pain clinics dispensing opioids were the problem, so the county wanted to be prepared for this election day.
“We wanted to have local regulations in place so maybe we’ll get grandfathered in where other local governments might not," added Boling.
Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar says his agency worked with the county to craft the ordinance so as not to diminish the quality of life here.
“To include where these were located. The distances from day cares, schools, medical centers perhaps the loitering and trespassing that could occur. All those factors were taken into play," said Sheriff Loar.
As to marijuana cultivation, the county plans to prohibit that but commissioners have to approve an amendment to the existing controlled substances ordinance in the coming weeks.