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Lake Worth bans future medical marijuana dispensaries

Posted at 11:46 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 08:02:48-04

No more medical marijuana dispensaries. That was the decision Thursday night from Lake Worth City commissioners who decided two is enough for now.

RELATED: More Medical Marijuana coverage

In a swift, and at times contentious final vote, Lake Worth commissioner voted 4 to 1 in favor of a ban.

The lone dissenting vote was Commissioner Omari Hardy.

“Some people think that if we don’t have a ban, medical marijuana is just going to come and take over the city. And I just don’t think that’s true,” Hardy said in an interview.

Right now there are two dispensaries in Lake Worth, Curaleaf and KNOX. They are about a mile apart. The majority of the commission agreed that’s enough-citing a medical marijuana advocacy group recommendation of one dispensary per 67,000 people. About 38,000 live in Lake Worth.

“Right now, I agree with putting a ban on it to control what our city looks like,” Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso said during the meeting.

Ryan Oblander, a Lake Worth resident disagreed with Thursday night’s decision, saying like any other business, the market should dictate what would make the most sense.

“If a shop wants to open up within a reasonable distance from another shop than that should be allowed,” Oblander said.

As Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell hastily called for a vote, he falsely accused Commissioner Hardy of inviting NewsChannel 5 to the meeting.

“What is the big hoopla over banning it?What is the big hoopla? You’ve already had two cracks at this, OK. You got the media here ... you got two cracks,” Maxwell said, referring to the two rounds of votes on the ban.

Those for the ban also want to wait for more direction from Tallahassee.

The commission can reverse the ban if they want.