BOCC decides to buy time to sort out details.
by Kathy Foster
In a 5-0 vote Monday afternoon the Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance to establish a temporary moratorium on growing, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, dispensing, distribution and wholesale and retail sale of medical cannabis, low-THC cannabis and derivative products, or any related activities; establishing a temporary moratorium on the opening relocation, or expansion of any medical marijuana dispensing facility within unincorporated Washington County.
Also incorporated in the ordinance the county staff was directed to develop proposed land development regulations and other recommendations regarding such cannabis-related activities; providing for penalties; providing for severability; providing for codification and providing an effective date for actions to be implemented.
Commissioners held a public hearing Monday; however, no members of the public turned out for the hearing.
County Attorney Jeff Goodman said the moratorium will give county officials some time to look into more aspects of Amendment 2 which passed in last Fall’s election.
Goodman explained that the county is in charge of where the cannabis can be grown and the location of dispensaries; however the Florida Department of Health will handle all licensing. He added that the county officials only deal with the unincorporated areas of Washington County and it is up to the elected officials in the incorporated areas (Chipley, Wausau, Caryville, Ebro) to make determination for those areas. Additionally, he said several of the incorporated areas have already called him for guidance.
Goodman said he would be accompanying Washington County commissioners to a convention in early February to learn more about the requirements being placed on the county.