Davenport to become first in Polk to finalize medical marijuana ban

Mike Ferguson @mikewferguson

DAVENPORT – Davenport could become the first city in Polk County to ban medical marijuana dispensaries during Monday’s City Commission meeting.

The commission voted 4-1 March 19 to approve the first reading of the ban. The lone dissenter was Commissioner Abel Gonzales.

Florida voters approved the use of medical marijuana during the November 2016 election. When legislation was enacted, municipalities and counties were given the option of either banning dispensaries or treating them the same as pharmacies, with some minor differences.

Ordinances require two readings to become finalized. Lake Hamilton became the first Polk municipality to approve a first reading March 6.

PAVILION AT JAMESTOWN PARK

The City Commission will consider adding a pavilion at Jamestown Park. There are currently two there but the city has sought to add a third.

“We’re trying to enhance all of our park facilities,” City Manager Kelly Callihan said. “We’re trying to keep them as a good place for our families to go.”

The lower of two bids for the pavilion came from Top Line Recreation, out of Deltona, at $17,460. Just more than $16,000 of the cost would be covered by a Community Development Block Grant. The city would have to pay the rest.

CITY GRANTS

At a workshop following the regular meeting, the City Commission is set to discuss grant applications. Each year, the commission awards grants up to $1,000 to organizations for events that are beneficial to the city. The budget for community grants this fiscal year was $3,000.

“Next year, we’re going to try to increase it to two cycles,” Callihan said. “We could do summer and fall or winter and summer — something like that.”

The applying organizations were Jamestown Concerned Citizens, Nature’s Place Therapy Services, Shalom Christian Center, Sunshine Foundation Dream Village, The Gate Church and

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