St. Lucie County updating rules for medical-marijuana dispensaries to meet state law

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Trulieve wants to put the first medical marijuana dispensary in St. Lucie County. KEONA GARDNER/TCPALM Wochit

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Trulieve offers medical cannabis in capsule form in several varieties and milligrams, along with topical cream, inhalation, and oral/sublingual forms. (Photo: ERIC HASERT/TCPALM)Buy Photo

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — New regulations for medical-marijuana dispensaries are up for a County Commission vote during a final public hearing Dec. 19.

Commissioners held a first hearing Tuesday on updated medical-marijuana dispensary rules that would follow state law, allowing them wherever pharmacies are permitted.

No one from the public spoke during the hearing and no commissioner commented on the measure.

The state law, enacted in a special session in June, gives local governments only two options for the dispensaries: ban them or allow them under the same regulations that apply to licensed pharmacies.

St. Lucie County’s proposed regulations would repeal ones passed in May and establish the same criteria to medical-marijuana dispensaries that is used for pharmacies.

The county’s outdated May ordinance required dispensaries to be at least 5 miles apart and at least 1,000 feet from schools and parks.

The county Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Nov. 16 to recommend the County Commission adopt the updated rules.

St. Lucie County Commissioner Linda Bartz said she favors the county’s revised rules for medical-marijuana dispensaries. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY ST. LUCIE COUNTY)

Commissioner Linda Bartz said she believes the ordinance will be adopted by the commission based on discussions about the issue at past commission meetings.

“I don’t think a ban is a good idea because I think that the people voted to have medicinal marijuana,” Bartz said in an interview Wednesday. “I think it was a clear cry for it and I think we should not stand in

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