Why should we allow dispensaries in Coral Springs?

    In November 2016, 71% of Florida voters approved legalizing medical marijuana for individuals with specific debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. In Coral Springs approximately 76% of the electorate supported legalization. With such overwhelming support, elected officials want to provide their citizens requiring medical marijuana the opportunity to obtain it conveniently within their community. People requiring medical marijuana deserve the right to have access to their legally prescribed treatment, and the right to obtain it conveniently within their community. Currently the closest dispensaries are in Deerfield Beach.

    Why should we ban dispensaries in Coral Springs?

    When Coral Springs voters approved Amendment 2, they voted to have access to medical marijuana, not to have dispensaries located within their city’s boundaries. Medical marijuana is currently available to anyone with a prescription from a licensed Florida physician. While the nearest dispensaries are in Deerfield Beach, same day home delivery is available.

    A State rule adopted in 2017 gives cities two options.  These options are to either ban dispensaries or regulate their locations to the same degree that pharmacies are regulated, which means allowing them in all commercial districts. The only restriction is that they must be at least 500 feet from a public or private school.

    If dispensaries are allowed, Coral Springs would become the only city in northwest Broward to make medical marijuana available and could become the location of choice for all those seeking medical marijuana in the northwest quadrant of Broward County.

    Who can prescribe medical marijuana?

    A physician who has successfully completed a 2-hour course and subsequent examination offered by the Florida Medical Association.

    How is medical marijuana regulated?

    The Florida Department of Health regulates the medical marijuana industry. Medical marijuana treatment centers must test processed low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis before it is dispensed. Results must be verified and signed by two dispensing organization employees. Before dispensing low-THC cannabis, the dispensing organization must determine that the test results indicate that the low-THC cannabis meets the definition of low-THC cannabis and, for medical cannabis and low-THC cannabis, that all medical cannabis and low-THC cannabis is safe for human consumption and free from contaminants that are unsafe for human consumption.

    How does the Federal Government classify marijuana?

    While the state of Florida legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2016, the Federal Government has not. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the Federal Government.

    What conditions are considered qualifying conditions for medical marijuana?

    A patient must be diagnosed with at least one of the following conditions to qualify to receive marijuana or a marijuana delivery device:

    (a) Cancer.

    (b) Epilepsy.

    (c) Glaucoma.

    (d) Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus.

    (e) Acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

    (f) Post-traumatic stress disorder.

    (g) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    (h) Crohn’s disease.

    (i) Parkinson’s disease.

    (j) Multiple sclerosis.

    (k) Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated in paragraphs (a)-(j).

    (l) A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification.

    (m) Chronic nonmalignant pain.

    Who regulates the medical marijuana industry?

    The Florida Department of Health registers and regulates centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and issues identification cards to patients and caregivers. 

    Lake Worth passed an ordinance allowing dispensaries and then banned them. Why?

    Lake Worth opened two dispensaries, and then voted to ban any others from opening. They were the only jurisdiction in the area to allow them and had concerns that the dispensaries would draw too many visitors. Authorities say there have been some minor calls for service at the two Lake Worth dispensaries, but nothing noteworthy.

    Why is medical marijuana a ‘cash-only’ business?

    Because federal regulations still consider marijuana illegal, banking and credit cards cannot be involved without violating federal banking laws. Medical marijuana is a cash-only business, which could create opportunities for crime.

    How much tax money will the city make from medical marijuana dispensaries?

    The City of Coral Springs will not receive any additional tax revenue from medical marijuana dispensaries located within its boundaries other than the revenue generated by a business tax license. A medical marijuana dispensary would pay the same rate as a pharmacy for their business tax license, which is based on their average monthly inventory (self-reported).

    The current rates are:

    Inventory $10,000 or less:  $195.14
    $10,001 to $100,000:  $349.49
    $100,001 to $250,00:  $701.19
    Over $250,000:  $1,052.88

    What will the cost be to have dispensaries located within the City of Coral Springs?

    There are factors that could contribute to the cost of having dispensaries in the City of Coral Springs, but these are unknown at this time. For instance, an ordinance allowing dispensaries may require annual inspections done by city staff.