Jax Beach council passes medical marijuana moratorium


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The Jacksonville Beach City Council voted Monday evening to approve an ordinance to impose a temporary moratorium on now legal medical marijuana.

Following a public hearing, council members voted unanimously, 7-0, on the second reading of the proposal.

The one-year moratorium will apply to both medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries in the beach community.

Supporters said the ordinance will allow city officials more time to analyze the potential impact of the medical marijuana business. 

"It's going to be a concern to residents too. We had an almost 80 percent approval rating. We support that. We found a fair resolution -- the one-year resolution is written specifically to end it sooner if we can make that happen," said Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham. 

Latham said the city is waiting on guidance from the state before developing a plan for medical marijuana distribution.

Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach are also both considering similar moratoriums. 

Senators look at next steps for medical marijuana

About a month after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment to broadly legalize medical marijuana, a Senate panel next week will start looking at how to carry out the requirement.

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Dec. 13 is scheduled to hold a workshop about implementation of what is known as Amendment 2.

About 71 percent of voters approved the measure during the Nov. 8 election. Lawmakers in 2014 approved a law that allows types of non-euphoric cannabis for some patients.

They also approved a measure this year that allows full-strength marijuana for terminally ill patients.

But Amendment 2 will make marijuana available to patients with a far-broader range of conditions.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.