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Indian River County may ban medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 05:19:30-04

Along Commerce Avenue in Vero Beach, there is a site that will become a medical marijuana dispensary sometime this fall. 

RELATED: More Medical Marijuana coverage

It was grandfathered in by the city after new regulations were signed into law recently by Gov. Rick Scott.  Those rules say new dispensaries have to be treated like any pharmacy.

On Tuesday, Indian River County attorney Dylan Reingold presented a draft ordinance to ban dispensaries in the unincorporated county.

“There’d be no ability to put distance limitations between each other, no distance limitations between churches," said Reingold.

Reingold says with the future site in Vero Beach, and learning the city of Sebastian would also allow dispensaries, residents would still have access to medical marijuana. Commissioners approved the first reading of the ordinance unanimously.

“We need to look at our community to ensure that we’re looking out for the environment and what the impact would have for the youth," said County Commission chairman Joseph Flescher.

A spokesman for neighboring St. Lucie County says it has a permit pending for its first dispensary.  The fire district is currently reviewing the request.

A public hearing on the proposed Indian River County ordinance will be on Aug. 15, after which the commission could vote for the ban.