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Orlando Delays Medical Marijuana Retail Ban

The city of Orlando delayed a vote to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries. (Rendering courtesy Knox Nursery)

The city of Orlando has delayed a vote on whether or not to ban new medical marijuana retail outlets.

Under current zoning, medical marijuana retail centers could go anywhere a Walgreens can go in Orlando. But the city required them to be a mile apart to prevent clustering, and allowed a maximum of seven dispensaries in the city.

That zoning came before the legislature passed a bill stripping local governments from putting those kinds of restrictions on the books. So a proposed ordinance could ban them all together.

That vote was pushed back to the next meeting, though.

“During the special session, the legislature passed a state law that would give us the opportunity to have an infinite number of dispensaries or no dispensaries,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “We’re taking a look at whether we can simply look at the ordinance we passed before there was state legislation or not, and Kyle and the legal team will give us an answer to that in the next couple weeks.”

City Commissioner Patty Sheehan is against banning dispensaries. She said she talks with residents with HIV and cancer who need medical marijuana.

“This is just an oil to help them with their medical needs,” Sheehan said. “I think we need to think about being compassionate toward others. I’m glad we took the prohibition off today. I support dispensing medical marijuana and cannabis to those who need it.”

Orlando has one existing medical marijuana retail outlet: Knox Nursery in Ivanhoe Village. If the city were to ban medical marijuana retail outlets, it could be grandfathered in.


WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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