NEW: Here’s how Wellington could handle medical pot dispensaries


Wellington officials are considering a rule change that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the village if they meet the same requirements pharmacies face.

To do that, the village council would need to pass tighter restrictions on pharmacies, something council members discussed at an agenda review workshop Oct. 23.

RELATED: Lake Worth to be home to Palm Beach County’s first pot dispensaries

State law mandates county or municipal governments can’t regulate medical marijuana dispensaries any differently than pharmacies.

The changes would limit pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries to be no closer than 1,000 feet to a primary or secondary school. It also would require them to be at least 10,000 square feet, and more than one pharmacy or dispensary per commercial development — such as a shopping center or mall — would not be allowed. That would not apply to pharmacies that operate within grocery stores.

READ: Why Royal Palm Beach banned medical marijuana dispensaries

Individual pharmacies and medical pot dispensaries along State Road 7 or with frontage to that road would not have to comply with the size and number restrictions.

Village attorney Laurie Cohen said while a new rule would have the potential to make some pharmacies noncompliant, it wouldn’t affect them unless they expand. She expects the council to have its first reading of the proposed ordinance Nov. 14.

The village council discussed its options Monday, with council members largely supporting changing pharmacy regulations over a moratorium or ban on medical marijuana facilities.

“Our residents voted overwhelmingly to have this,” council Michael Napoleone said, referring to the 72 percent of Wellington voters who in November cast their ballots in favor of legalizing medical marijuana in Florida. “We should make it available.”

RELATED: Voters OK’d medical marijuana — but cities aren’t welcoming pot shops

The dissenting voice was Mayor Anne Gerwig, who said in supporting a ban she feels the state law passed in the previous legislative session has tied the village’s hands when it comes to defining where medical marijuana dispensaries can open in Wellington.

“I understand that people want this product, and I don’t think that us banning locations in Wellington is preventing them from getting it,” Gerwig said. “I don’t think that it makes it harder for a person who needs treatment to have it. I think they do have access to it through a delivery method that doesn’t make me wonder what it would do to a neighborhood.”

When it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries, Palm Beach County municipalities are split: While most have banned the facilities outright, only Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and the unincorporated parts of the county have opened their arms.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

THINGS TO DO: Italian feast in Gardens, North Palm clubhouse closing
THINGS TO DO: Italian feast in Gardens, North Palm clubhouse closing

CLUBHOUSE CLOSING CELEBRATION North Palm Beach is throwing a party for the closing of its 55-year-old clubhouse. Locals will gather to share memories and spend time with friends and neighbors 1 to 6 p.m. April 28 at the Village Clubhouse, 951 U.S. 1. RELATED: IN DEPTH: What’s driving spending on posh clubhouses in north county? The village will...
Prince remembered: Listen to audio from the singer’s final concert
Prince remembered: Listen to audio from the singer’s final concert

For Prince fans who attended the singer’s last public concerts at the Fox Theatre last year, their memories of the show serve as a snapshot of one of the pop icon’s final public moments. >> Read more trending news  The singer, 57, died of a fentanyl overdose April 21, 2016, just one week after the two Atlanta concerts. Even...
This weekend: Delray Beach’s Morikami Museum to hold Hatsume Fair
This weekend: Delray Beach’s Morikami Museum to hold Hatsume Fair

DELRAY BEACH — Ring in the spring at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens’ largest annual festival, the Hatsume Fair, with Japanese street food, martial arts and bonsai demonstrations and an anime-inspired costume contest. During the fair, Morikami’s tranquil gardens will transform into a bustling festival to celebrate...
BREAKING: Student found with knife at Lake Worth elementary school 
BREAKING: Student found with knife at Lake Worth elementary school 

A North Grade Elementary student brought a pocket knife to school Wednesday, according to a robocall sent to parents that evening.  The student had the knife in a backpack and showed it to another student, who then notified a teacher, according to the call.  It was not immediately known how long the student had the knife in the backpack...
South Florida home values still below peak prices
South Florida home values still below peak prices

South Florida’s economy seems to be firing on all cylinders. Unemployment is back below 4 percent, construction activity has rebounded and home values have bounced back.  And yet: Median home prices in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties remain nearly 14 percent below their boomtime highs. That’s according to a report released...
More Stories