Sebastian City Council Addresses Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Sebastian to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in about 45 days.
Sebastian to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in about 45 days.

SEBASTIAN – In about 45 days, the City of Sebastian is expected to allow medical marijuana dispensaries/treatment centers.

The Sebastian City Council wants to make a restriction so that treatment centers can only open in certain areas of Sebastian. They don’t want the town overrun by dispensaries.

However, the state says it’s all or nothing when it comes to medical marijuana treatment centers. This leaves the city with their hands tied. They can either allow the marijuana treatment centers or ban them entirely.

Vero Beach is one of the cities that decided to ban all marijuana dispensaries except for the one already approved. That has upset a lot of people.

The only concern they have is turning Sebastian into a mecca where patients come to our town from other cities that banned medical marijuana.

Sebastian Mayor Jim Hill believes medical marijuana should be available for local citizens who need it. The rest of the Sebastian City Council feels the same way.

Hill told Sebastian Daily that the City should adopt a similar rule as the City of Wellington.

Wellington’s ordinance was passed in January; it changed the village’s pharmacy zoning to include medical marijuana dispensaries under the following rules:

  • Dispensaries and pharmacies need to be a minimum of 10,000 square feet.
  • They would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of a primary or secondary school.
  • One pharmacy or dispensary would be allowed per shopping center, with an exception for pharmacies in grocery stores.

Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig still has concerns after the ordinance was passed.

“The problem is this is a Schedule I drug,” she said. “It is illegal federally.”

Marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug also means it’s a cash-only business. The dispensaries are unable to move the money in banks since it’s still illegal with the U.S. federal government.

More: Sebastian Moves Forward On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

More: Vero Beach Bans Future Marijuana Dispensaries

Sebastian Council members feel the all or nothing approach by the state is wrong. It doesn’t give cities any room to make necessary restrictions in their community, which can differ from city to city.

Even so, their concerns for Sebastian won’t keep them from moving forward and allowing local marijuana dispensaries. It’s expected in 45 days.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland. When he was age 9, his parents moved to Jupiter, Florida. Andy spent several years at various radio & television stations in Florida such as WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. In 1994, Andy made a career change to computer programming and worked for several technology companies (two are Fortune 500) in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2002. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.