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Orlando To Cap Marijuana Dispensaries, Treat Them Like CVS

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

The city of Orlando votes Monday on rules governing where medical marijuana dispensaries can go.

Orlando will have a maximum of seven marijuana dispensaries under the new zoning. That’s one retail outlet for each nursery approved under Florida’s current medical marijuana program.

Zoning wise, they would be treated the same as a Walgreens or CVS. But city officials don’t want them to cluster, so they must be at least a mile from each other.

“The Legislature is deciding what form you’ll be able to use this in and some other things that are gonna have a tough affect on some of the people that probably need to use the product,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We’re not having any effect. All we’re doing is trying to find the right locations for it to be dispensed.”

There are also minimum distances from residential neighborhoods, schools and churches. Some cities in Florida have put medical marijuana dispensaries in industrial parks, but Orlando plans to allow them under light retail zoning.

From the city staff’s documents:

“While some communities have determined dispensaries should be located far from commercial activity, even relegating them to industrial sites, staff wants to ensure that people in chronic pain, cancer patients, and others suffering from a variety of illnesses and symptoms have safe and reasonable access to this treatment option, just like other medicines they may require. Treating dispensaries like pharmaceutical uses ensures this accommodation is provided.”

Currently, three dispensaries have already applied to open retail shops before the city put a moratorium in, and Knox Nursery’s is licensed to be up and running. The others could be grandfathered in.

Check here to read more about the ordinance. See below for the address of the three locations that have applied to be marijuana dispensaries:

  • 1829/1901 North Orange Avenue – currently licensed to be open and operating
  • 4544 North Orange Blossom Trail – currently in for permits
  • 2445 Edgewater Drive – has not yet applied for permits as of April 4, 2017


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Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

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