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Wellington council votes 3-2 to allow medical marijuana dispensaries

Posted at 4:04 AM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 06:02:47-05

UPDATE: Wellington Village Council voted 3-2 to allow medical marijuana dispensaries withing a set of rules.

Among those rules, dispensaries and pharmacies need to be a minimum of 10 thousand feet in size and they can't be within a thousand feet of primary or secondary schools.  


Wellington could become the next municipality in Palm Beach County to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, but it all depends on a vote Monday night.

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“I don’t think it would hurt as long as it’s properly regulated and it’s something that’s determined it’s needed medically," said Michael Rankin, who lives in Wellington.

“I think it’s more beneficial than harmful," said Joshua Plyler, who lives in Wellington.

Under the state law that passed, it’s up to local municipalities if they want to see medical marijuana dispensaries within their own boundaries. 

When a first vote was held on zoning for dispensaries in November, Wellington’s council voted three to two to allow dispensaries. Monday night's agenda includes public comment and the final vote.

“My concern is this is a cash-only business. It’s still federally illegal," said Mayor Anne Gerwig in an interview in November. "They can’t deposit the money into a federal bank account. If the voters want this, it needs to be cleared federally.”

The medical marijuana dispensaries would have to be zoned as pharmacies and in buildings that are at least 10,000 square feet in size and at least 1,000 feet away from schools. A dispensary wouldn’t be allowed in the same plazas as pharmacies.

Dispensaries along U.S. 441 would be exempt from those rules.

Gerwig said if the village is looking for most of the dispensaries to be located on 441 anyway, then they could ban it because the dispensaries could open up on the eastern side of 441 outside of the village, which would still be convenient for residents. 

She said while she's heard from people who need medical marijuana, the majority of people she’s heard from about this understand why people could use it, but they don’t want it sold in Wellington. 

Monday's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Village Hall Monday.