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Boynton Beach moves forward to allow medical marijuana dispensaries

Posted at 3:23 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 17:54:02-04

There's a second city in Palm Beach County moving forward with plans to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. It was a split decision among Boynton Beach commissioners and they still have time to change their mind. 

At almost every major intersection you'll see a pharmacy near by, soon that could be a medical marijuana dispensary. 

"The commission decided ot think of it as medication and we're moving forward so that the residents of Boynton Beach can have it close by," said Mayor Steven Grant, Boynton Beach. 

Boynton Beach is joining other cities planning to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. The state is giving municipalities the option to ban them or allow them, but if they give dispensaries the green light, they can open anywhere a pharmacy can.
"Oh, I think it's a great thing all the way around," said Cadie Cate, who supports dispensaries. 
Cate wants dispensaires in Boynton Beach. She says maybe then her grandmother would have more options to treat her psoriasis. 
"She doesn’t like to try medicines because she doesn’t like the side effects so I think if it was legal she would actually like to try that," said Cate.
But some people like Sharyn Tapie are against dispensaries and feel bring them to Boynton Beach is a bad idea. 
"Anywhere it's going to be, I won't be shopping there definitely," said Tapie.
The decision is not final yet. Mayor Grant said the commission can still vote 'no' once an ordinance is drafted. 
"We don’t really know what's going to happen and so right now it's going to be a wait and see and if it gets to a point where we are getting too many applications, the commission may have to change their vote," said Grant.
The commission had three options: to draft an ordinance allowing dispensaries with no restrictions, change the zoning of pharmacies to control where dispensaries can open, or ban dispensaries altogether. 
Right now there's a battle in Lake Worth against one dispensary trying to open up near a school. Legally, it cna open only if there's already a pharmacy close by. 
"I’m not too crazy about that," said Diane Wiser who supports dispensaries. 
The first medical marijuana dispensary to operate in Palm Beach County is opening in Lake Worth this September. There's no cap on how many can open in a city as long as one company does not have more than 25 dispensaries across the state.