Crestview moving toward allowing medical marijuana treatment centers in the city
CRESTVIEW — Medical marijuana treatment centers could, after all, be allowed to operate within the city limits.
With a 3-2 vote Monday, the City Council agreed to direct City Manager Tim Bolduc to draft a revised ordinance that would allow such centers in the Hub City.
“I’ll come back with an ordinance that basically allows it everywhere where a pharmacy is allowed, because that’s what the (state) statute says,” Bolduc told the council.
►ALSO - PHOTOS: New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Destin
In November 2016, 71% of Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana for people with specific debilitating diseases such as cancer, PTSD and AIDS.
The amendment, which expanded legislation that already permitted more-limited medical marijuana, was approved by 71.6% of voters in Okaloosa County.
Initially, the Crestview City Council took advantage of a state statute provision that allows a municipality to ban medical marijuana treatment centers from being set up within its boundaries.
►RELATED: Medical Marijuana dispensary opens in FWB
The council made its latest decision on the matter after being asked by residents to reconsider the city’s ban, and after holding a workshop on the matter that resulted in a split vote.
At Monday’s meeting, Councilman Shannon Hayes said he opposes recreational marijuana but supports medical cannabis.
He noted that state law limits the number of medical marijuana treatment centers that can be set up in each municipality.
“They’re not going to pop up all over,” Hayes said. “I don’t think (allowing such centers in Crestview) would be a detriment to anyone.”
Councilwoman Cynthia Brown, however, said she doesn’t think enough research has been done on the benefits of medical marijuana, and Councilman Joe Blocker said he is “strictly against” allowing medical cannabis treatment centers in Crestview.
A local resident in support of the centers told the council that no one has ever overdosed on marijuana. But another resident expressed concern that medical marijuana suppliers are advertising to people who do not suffer with serious medical issues.
After more discussion, Hayes and Councilman Harry LeBoeuf voted in support of Councilman Andrew Rencich’s motion for the creation of a revised ordinance that would allow medical marijuana treatment centers in the city.
Brown and Blocker voted “no.”
In other business Monday, the council unanimously approved an agreement to buy the former 129-acre Foxwood Country Club property off of Antioch Road for $1.2 million.
The agreement is with Livin’ Right Real Estate, of Fort Walton Beach, which represents the property owner, Foxwood of Crestview LLC, also of Fort Walton Beach.
The contract is contingent on the merger of Beach Community Bank and First City Bank being finalized.
Crestview officials plan to use the former golf club property for multiple recreation programs, including a possible multi-sport complex.
Bolduc hopes to close on the purchase by the end of April and then finalize work to annex the property into the city.
City officials also want to annex in the Foxwood Estates neighborhood that surrounds the former country club site. Bolduc’s latest discussion with Foxwood Estates’ residents about the potential neighborhood annexation is set for March 7.