Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

City gives initial approval to guidelines for medical marijuana dispensaries

Council member Bill Phillips questioned whether asking for more requirements of dispensaries and pharmacies would raise fairness issues.

Council member Bill Phillips questioned whether asking for more requirements of dispensaries and pharmacies would raise fairness issues.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The city has taken the first step toward establishing guidelines for medical marijuana dispensaries that might be looking to open in New Port Richey.

Medical marijuana dispensaries will not be allowed in New Port Richey's downtown zoning district, but they could pop up in any commercial and industrial zoning district, according to an ordinance the City Council passed this week on first reading.

The ordinance treats pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries as equals zoning-wise, meaning they will be coupled together in a development standard class, which is mandated by a state law passed last legislative session.

The council approved five design criteria that must be met by dispensaries and pharmacies, though existing pharmacies are grandfathered in and not subject to the new zoning requirements or the ban from the downtown district. The criteria are:

• The building must be painted or otherwise finished in muted colors.

• Security bars are not allowed on the outside of doors or windows.

• Outdoor seating, displays, sales or promotions would be prohibited.

• Products cannot be consumed on-site.

• Graphics of plants from which medicine is derived or prescribed/non-prescribed drugs cannot be visible from more than 5 feet from the building.

The ordinance also bans medical marijuana dispensaries from being within 500 feet of a school unless approved by the council during a special exception hearing.

While the council approved the ordinance, council members called on the city staff to add a requirement before a final reading whereby proposed businesses would have to provide conceptual renderings of establishments to the council.

"I want these to look like professional medical facilities," said Deputy Mayor Jeff Starkey.

Council member Bill Phillips raised the question of whether asking for more requirements of dispensaries and pharmacies would raise fairness issues. City Attorney Timothy Driscoll said the only worry for the city will be making sure both medical marijuana dispensaries and pharmacies are treated equally.

"Unfortunately, the pharmacies have to get swept up into this as well, so you have to strike a balance between over-regulating pharmacies and under-regulating medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities," Driscoll said. "I just would caution you to tread lightly because everything we do affects both of these uses."

City gives initial approval to guidelines for medical marijuana dispensaries 10/06/17 [Last modified: Thursday, October 5, 2017 11:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.