County considers marijuana dispensary moratorium

OKEECHOBEE — At their Oct. 11 meeting, Okeechobee County commissioners agreed to start the process to put a six-month moratorium on approving permits for dispensaries for medical marijuana.

“It is presumed that the amendment will pass in regard to medical marijuana,” said Commissioner Terry Burroughs. He said a lot of counties are putting a moratorium on permits for six months in order to allow officials to determine how to manage businesses that sell medical marijuana.

“I have mixed thoughts on the moratorium at this point,” said county attorney John Cassels. “It hasn’t passed yet.”

He added that the amendment requires that the state develop regulations on placement of marijuana dispensaries. If the amendment passes, the state will have six months to develop these regulations.

County administrator Robbie Chartier said if it passes, there will be people wanting to open dispensaries.

“Nothing would be harmed by putting a moratorium in place,” said Mr. Cassels.

In other business at the Oct. 11 meeting:

• The Board of County Commissioners approved the Work Authorization Proposal from CivilSurv Design Group, Inc. in the amount of $29,200 to complete three Safe Route to Schools applications for sidewalks on N.W. 34th Street, N.W. 12th Avenue and S.E. Eighth Street.

• Commissioners approved a budget amendment in the amount of $113,600 from Transportation Trust Fund reserves to General Engineering services for expenses greater than anticipated in fiscal year 15/16.

• The board adopted a policy prohibiting the use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies within its jurisdiction against any individuals engaged in nonviolent civil rights demonstrations.

• The board authorized the advertising and scheduling of a public hearing for the adoption of a Resolution authorizing the use of the Uniform Method for levy, collection and enforcement of non-ad valorem assessments for the cost of providing drainage, road improvements, including, but not limited to roadside ditches, swales and sidewalks, street lighting, street resurfacing, culverts, canal cleaning and canal maintenance, ditch cleaning, enhanced or substitute solid waste collection and disposal, stormwater treatment, and mosquito control, and the abatement of nuisances.

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