Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Boca Raton

2014: The First Temporary Moratorium on Dispensaries

Context: The 2014 Florida Amendment 2, Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions was up for consideration by the Florida electorate in the upcoming November Elections. The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 passed in this year, effective Jan 1 2015.

Members of the City Council: Mayor Susan Haynie, Deputy Mayor Constance J. Scott, Council Member Michael Mullaugh, Council Member Scott Singer, Council Member Robert S. Weinroth

Ordinance No. 5285 (first public hearing, second public hearing)

An ordinance of the City of Boca Raton, imposing a temporary moratorium on the operation of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and dispensing organizations within the City for a period of one (1) year; providing for severability; providing an effective date.

Justification for Moratorium

  • The City’s Code does not currently contain land development regulations governing the use of property for the purpose of cultivating, processing, distributing, or selling medical marijuana or related activities.
  • In order to promote effective land use planning, preserve the status quo while researching, studying, and analyzing the potential impact and effect of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and Dispensing Organizations upon the following:
    • Adjacent uses.
    • Surrounding areas.
    • Traffic, congestion
    • Demand for City services
    • Other aspects of the general welfare
  • Allow the City time to consider:
    • What uses are best suited to particular zoning categories.
    • Regulations the State will issue, if Amendment 2 is passed, for the implementation and enforcement of medical marijuana production, possession and use.
    • How to best formulate land development regulations for the purposes of cultivating, processing, distributing or selling medical marijuana or related activities

2015: The Extension of the First Moratorium

Context: The 2014 Florida Amendment 2, Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions did not obtain voter approval. However, per the 2014 Act, limited dispensary organizations were still authorized to operate within the State of Florida. Jeremy Rodgers replaced Constance Scott on city council, and the new council deliberated on whether or not to extend the 2014 ban.

Members of the City Council: Mayor Susan Haynie, Deputy Mayor Robert S. Weinroth, Council Member Michael Mullaugh, Council Member Jeremy Rodgers, Council Member Scott Singer

Ordinance No. 5323 (first public hearing, second public hearing)

An ordinance of the City of Boca Raton, extending the temporary moratorium on the operation of medical marijuana dispensing organizations within the City for a period of one (1) year; providing for severability; providing an effective date (SC-14-04R1)

Justification for Moratorium Extension

  • The City’s Code does not currently contain land development regulations governing the use of property for medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Moratorium will allow staff to research, study, and analyze the potential land use impacts, such as:
    • Adjacent uses
    • Surrounding Areas
    • Traffic, congestion
    • Demand for City services
    • Other aspects of the general welfare
  • Allow the City time to determine:
    • What zoning categories are best suited
    • What land development regulations, e.g. setbacks, required parking spaces, etc., will address impacts

2016: Amendment 2 Strikes Back

Context: The second iteration of Amendment 2 (confusingly also called Amendment 2) is to be voted on by the electorate.

Members of the City Council: Mayor Susan Haynie, Deputy Mayor Michael Mullaugh, Council Member Jeremy Rodgers, Council Member Scott Singer, Council Member Robert S. Weinroth

Ordinance No. 5367 (first public hearing, second public hearing)

An ordinance of the City of Boca Raton considering a temporary moratorium on the operation of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and Medical Marijuana Dispensing Organizations within the City for a period of one (1) year; providing for severability; providing an effective date.

Justification for Moratorium

  • Due to historical prohibition, City Code does not contain land development regulations that govern the user of property for medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensing organizations
  • Moratorium will allow staff additional time to research, study, and analyze potential landu use impacts, such as impacts on
    • Adjacent use
    • Property values
    • Traffic and congestion
    • Demand for City services
  • Allow City time to:
    • Determine what zoning categories are best suited
    • Determine what land development regulations, e.g. setbacks, required parking spaces, etc. will address impacts
    • See what legislation is passed during the March – May 2017 Legislative Session if Amendment 2 obtains voter approval
  • Update Since 2015 Moratorium Extension Approval
    • Compassionate Care Act was amended by House Bill 307
    • DOH approved 6 dispensing organizations
    • Staff is researching and analyzing regulations adopted by other local jurisdictions (i.e. Coral Gables, Plantation, Vero Beach, Miramar, etc.)
    • Staff members within different departments have met to discuss potential impacts to City

2017: From Temporary to Permanent?

Context: Amendment 2 passed. Council Member Andrea Levine O’Rourke replaced Council Member Michael Mullaugh on the city council. The city’s moratorium is coming to an end to be replaced with a permanent ban.

Members of the City Council: Mayor Susan Haynie, Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers, Council Member Andrea Levine O’Rourke, Council Member Scott Singer, Council Member Robert S. Weinroth

Ordinance No. 5415 (first public hearing, second public hearing)

An ordinance of the City of Boca Raton amending Chapter 28 “Zoning,” Code of Ordinances; amending Section 28-1326 to prohibit medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities in all zoning districts in the City, and clarifying the impact of a list of prohibited uses on authorized uses within zoning districts; amending Section 28-2 to provide a definition for medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facility; providing for severability; providing for repealer; providing for codification; providing an effective date.

2018: Networking Explosion and a Special Election

Context: Meanwhile in the city, 3-4 cannabis networking groups (notably Extract Collective and Green Carpet Events) are holding regular meetings. Due to some legal trouble, Mayor Haynie ceases to be mayor, triggering a special election. During the campaign, candidate for city council Andy Thomson expresses his support for medical cannabis patients. Candidate for Mayor Scott Singer’s support expressed his support through a Florida for Care email blast.

Members of the City Council: Mayor Scott Singer, Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rogers, Council Member Monica Mayotte, Council Member Andrea Levine O’Rourke, Council Member Andy Thomson

In a workshop meeting, the city council stated they would revisit their ban on dispensaries in early 2019.