Oakland Park Commissioners Will Seriously Reconsider The Medical Marijuana Dispensary!
One of the biggest medical marijuana dispensary companies in Florida wants to open a store in an area where Oakland Park leaders have said no in the past. Now, because of a new court order, city commissioners have to think again. The sign is already green where Trulieve wants to open a dispensary on Oakland Park Boulevard between NW Ninth and N. Andrews Streets, but they will move slowly.
Keith Reilly, a local, asked, “If it’s medical marijuana and it’s authorized by the legislature, why does it matter what street it’s on?” Last year, the company put in for the right permits. When Trulieve was turned down by the city commission and mayor, the company went to court.
Judges John Bowman, Ernest Kollra, and Mariya Weeks ruled against the city in a Broward County court case. The final order says that they found the company’s application to “comply with all the conditions as set forth,” and that the reason for the denial was based on personal preference.
In particular, the city turned down Trulieve’s “procedural due process when the (former mayor’s) interest made it hard for him to look at the application objectively.” The order said that the dispensary would be too close to a charter school because it would be less than 800 feet away.
But state law says that the city can’t make dispensaries more limited than pharmacies. Another local, Jason Vandenburgh, said, “The dispensary should be welcomed with open arms.”Reilly said, “I have no problem with it.” “It’s a free market. It’s about business.
I own my own business, and I think we should have fewer rules and let more people own businesses.” Legal expert David Weinstein, who used to be a federal and state prosecutor and is now a partner at Jones Walker firm in Miami, said that the court ruling is not a free pass to set up shop.
He said, “It’s a free pass to go back before the commission and the mayor and make their case again.” “It can get to the same end result, but it has to go through certain steps and practices to do so. They can’t just sit there with their hands over their ears and eyes and not hear what’s being said.
People must pay attention. They must take a look.” Neither the new members of the Oakland Park Commission nor the mayor was willing to be interviewed. A city official sent out an email with a statement.
“Medical marijuana treatment and dispensing facilities are allowed through conditional use, as long as the city commission agrees with the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation,” Shannon Vezina, Public Information Officer for the City of Oakland Park, wrote.
“Businesses that want to get approval for a conditional use must meet certain criteria to show that they will keep or improve the character of the residential or business community around them. Other people who wanted to open dispensaries in Oakland Park have been given permission to do so.
Surterra Florida will open in 2019 at 1190 E. Commercial Blvd. and 3 Boys Farms will open in 2021 at 499 E. Oakland Park Blvd. The Planning and Zoning Board said that Trulieve’s application for conditional use should be denied, and the city commission agreed. The applicant took the application to the Circuit Court, which ruled against the commission.
So, within the next few months, the city commission will look at the application again.”Rob Kremer, the Executive Director of Corporate Communications for Trulieve, also responded in a statement. Kremer said, “Trulieve is happy to get back in touch with the Oakland Park Commission as we work together to open a dispensary in the area.”
“We can’t wait to tell the three new commissioners and people who already know about our project about our story and application. The judges’ decision was well-received and is a good step in this process. We still want to be a part of Oakland Park, which is a great place to live.”