In contrast with Flagler Beach’s contortions, Palm Coast’s less tortuous but still delayed approach, and Bunnell’s opposition, Flagler County appears ready to become the first local government to welcome medical marijuana dispensaries: the County Commission is set to approve an ordinance Monday evening that will open the way to the dispensaries in all zones except residential and agricultural.
The county in December approved a six-month moratorium, the shortest of the local moratoriums, to give its administration time to work up the right ordinance in line with legislative developments. Those developments were not settled until mid-spring. But the county, unlike Palm Coast and Flagler Beach, unhesitatingly went ahead and crafted a measure that essentially treats medical marijuana dispensaries the way it does pharmacies. That’s what the law requires, if a local government is to permit medical pot dispensaries. The only other option is to ban them.
“It looks about right, it leaves it pretty well open other than the standard stay away from schools and things like that,” County Commission Chairman Nate McLaughlin said about the proposed ordinance today. “I don’t see any problem. The board has been very clear over this whole thing, this is considered medicine and it’s a treatment doctors can have an option to treat their patients. I don’t foresee going off what the board has previously talked about on this issue.”
Commissioner Donald O’Brien, who was reluctant even to approve the moratorium, said last week that he considered the ordinance a simple matter of adding medical dispensaries alongside pharmacies. O’Brien didn’t like delaying implementation of Amendment 2, the constitutional amendment voters approved with a larger-than 70 percent margin last November to legalize medical marijuana, and from a business perspective he did not want Flagler County to be behind in attracting potential dispensaries.
Should the approval go through Monday, the county will have clearly won that race.
Palm Coast is a close second, but even Palm Coast earlier this week approved an extension of a moratorium, for another two months, because its ordinance is not yet ready.
Flagler Beach several weeks ago approved, on first reading, an ordinance that would have banned all dispensaries in town. But the blowback was such that commissioners looked for a way out, and found one. Last week the three who had voted for the ban reversed themselves and approved an approach that would legalize dispensaries on the mainland portions of Flagler Beach, but keep them out of the barrier island.
That leaves Bunnell as the only outlier in the county. Bunnell will remain so: the commission appears uninterested in allowing medical pot dispensaries. The city is “way off” that trend, Commissioner Elbert Tucker said in an interview today. “I don’t think the commissioners are in favor of having dispensaries in the city limit of Bunnell.”
They discussed it very briefly about a month ago, Tucker said. The city’s police chief, Tom Foster, is an ardent opponent of all things pot.
“I just don’t want it. There’s room for abuse and we don’t need that. I’d just rather some other city take care of that,” Tucker said. “I used to go to Palm Coast to get my medication so people can go to Palm Coast to get their medical marijuana and we won’t have to worry about regulating it.”
Dan Davis, the city manager, went into more detail on the issue today. Based on Palm Coast’s approach–of eventually allowing them– that makes me more inclined to recommend that we do not allow them,” he said.
He cited two reasons: “They will be all over the county, meaning Bunnell residents will be able to drive two-three miles in any direction and get what they need. Considering we have no control and can’t tax these type businesses I’d rather not have good business space taken up by them,” Davis said. And second, “considering it’s a cash business because banks won’t loan money since it is still a federal crime, there are many burglaries going on in California and Colorado. Safe’s are left overnight with large sums of cash and product for the taking. We have enough crime in Bunnell, I don’t need a reason for more.”
Davis said those were his and the police chief’s thoughts. which generally carry heavy weight with the rest of the commissioners. He says he will recommend something in September or October.
“We haven’t taken a vote but I think we’re headed in that direction,” Tucker said.
In the county, medical pot dispensaries will be allowed in general office, neighborhood commercial, and general commercial and shopping center zones, and, with special exceptions, in residential/limited commercial use zoning districts. Like pharmacies, they may operate drive-thrus, but they may not exceed 2,500 square feet or a single lane for the drive-thru.
The second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Sept. 6, when it will go into effect. But given its momentum in the county, Monday’s action means that the moratorium is over, and that the county will be accepting permit applications from dispensaries, should any be submitted.
“Certainly Flagler is a very forward-thinking community,” McLaughlin said, reflecting on the county opening the way first. “I don’t think that’s our intent but it seems to happen that way.”
bunnell is full of “dispensaries” already…don’t need anymore
Palm Coast was damned sure quick to deny erection of a memorial plaque to the heroes of the USS Liberty.
Robert Lewis says
The county wins? The county is made up of the cities and very few unincorporated areas. You can’t build a business in a county without the cities. I refuse to have my neighborhood be allowed to open a home base drug house. Maybe we should open these pot dealers next to these commissioner homes. . I’m sure this will be another special Nate McLaughin ribbon cutting that’s goes up in smoke.
Wishful Thinking says
Did any of us know that there is NO current zoning for pharmacies in Flager County?
Did any of know that the county is proposing ‘amendments to’ FOUR different codes to allow dispensaries as the editor Pierre Tristam has ( thank GOD) disclosed?
Did any of us know that unincorporated Flagler County does not have ONE SINGLE PHARMACY?
Do any of us care that the proposed amendments will allow pharmacies the county obviously never gave a damn about anyway?
Do any of us care that in many areas all 4 categories the county is proposing are all next to each other physically?
Do any of us care that in the proposed ‘amendments’ there is NO MINIMUM BUFFER from single family homes and single family/condo PUD communities?
If we do care shouldn’t we let the Chair and the rest of the commission know, in person, Monday at 5:30PM that 2 zoning categories are more than enough: – General neighborhood commercial and General Office .. with mandatory sensible buffers for the ‘health welfare and safety’ of the community as these proposed ‘amendments’ and ordinance so staunchly claim that everything they are proposing is for our health, welfare and safety.’
Our chair perhaps does not have time to study the consequences of these proposed ‘amendments’ to support a pot free for all – no matter if they are adjacent to his constituents private over-taxes homes because he is tooo busy cutting ribbons
To put police laziness over the wellbeing of your citizens is a shame Bunnell!! The city with some of the poorest and sickest people ,who don’t drive and need this SAFE ACCESS to a LEGAL substance and you are denying them!! OUTRAGE ,anyone who showed up to flagler beach or palm coast townhall should show up and #HELPBUNNELL at the next town hall,council meetings ,you have people out in mondex that dont drive who need this medicine and you expect them to get to palm coast or flagler beach to get there medication? Where do you think they will get it from instead? All because you are worried about something you have no proof of, Shame
Wishful Thinking says
Thank you Flaglerlive once again for letting us all know how insanity prevails in Flagler County.
One correction to your fantastic detailed article – currently Flagler County does not have ANY zoning that permits PHARMACIES let alone marijuana dispensaries !
Isn’t ONE amendment to ONE zoning classification more than enough? There are areas in Flagler County where C-2 zoning abuts residential homes with no buffers and none proposed. How many of us would like to live adjacent to a ‘drive through’ perhaps ‘cash only’ business close to an interstate for super easy access for whomever? .these same areas are also also feet from 2 other proposed zoning amendments.
Amazing – Flagler County celebrating the 100 year anniversary and not one single pharmacy for all these years. Can’t wait to see how the Tourist Board adds this to the great things we have in Flagler County.
A pot shop at every corner.
“Certainly Flagler is a very forward-thinking community,” McLaughlin said”…..man….that’s some funny stuff right there. We just got a real movie theatre 8 years ago or so. When I think Flagler County forward thinking would be about the last thing I would use to describe it.
Seems pretty clear the previous comments are very caught up in stereotypes… Dispensaries are not “drug houses” people hang around while they commit other crimes… Many many people already use marijuana for a multitude of reasons, and by establishing dispensaries, the state can get income from people using this instead of the money going to drug dealers. Also, by getting their marijuana from dispensaries they can make sure exactly what’s in there marijuana, whereas if you get it from a dealer you have no idea what the dealer cut it with. Marijuana still has a really bad reputation for God knows why, but it’s a lot safer from alcohol which is around every corner in Bunnell. Very sad bennell is missing out, when it already has a long starving economy. People can’t be blaming 95 anymore for not having any business when the people in charge refused to make it competitive.
The County is going to allow pot dispensaries in residential zoning? Are you out of your f’ing minds? Now I could have a bunch of stoners milling about the neighborhood, because we know they’re all going to get prescriptions for any minor malady and it will be de facto approval for recreational use. You better change this part or make sure the dispensary is in YOUR neighborhood, commissioners.
wake up sheeple alcohol kills more people than any other drug combined. such narrow minded robots live in pc and fb
This will bring in major benefits for people all around. I know plenty of war veterans that use medical marijuana to help calm their pain or PTSD. I know plenty of cancer patients who use it as well. What do you mean by “pot dealers” what kind of crowd are you trying to say will be going there? When I see legal pot I see money and people trying to get help. It costs money to buy medical and a lot of that goes back to taxpayers. How do you not see that?
This county is out of their minds, like we don’t have enough of cap already going on. All they see is the dollar signs not what this is going to bring here. Hell they tell you what and where you can build a business and now they agree to this crap, I think we need to be voting in a new committee and clean up the one we have now. There are people that want to bring entertainment to the people in Palm Coast and they are told no. So let’s just bring on more crime, way to go city of Palm Coast.
Here we go the “PANDORAS BOX” has been opened. Now the fun begins.
So I guess Morphine, Herion and Crack will be next. I can’t wait to see this county in 5 years.
So does this mean I can use my “medical marijuana” before I get in my car, before work, during work, in public,?
Can I travel with it?
What happens if I get stopped by the police and he smells marijanna? Will I be arrested even though I have a prescription?
What happens if someone steals my marijuana, can I get it replaced for free?
How much marijuana can get at one time?
Can I still carry my concealed carry weapon while I use medical marijuana? Do I have to report that I have a permit in the first place?
Is medical marijuana covered by Obamacare?
How old do you have to be to get medical marijuana?
Can I get medical marijuana for anxiety and/ or other social inadequacies?
Where can I use medical marijuana?
There are still so many questions to be asked and so far nobody has been able to give any answers . We just run right in for political correctness and sucomb to pressures.
County will welcome? Have they already voted? Some additional information here…since the state passed this law, I believe the counties may be “required” to vote on this? Is that what’s happening here? I can think of many things this County is noted for. Being the first to open these dispensaries isn’t even on my list. Open the first next door to the home of John Morgan. Isn’t he the guy who got it put on the ballot?
One more thing why do we need separate “mom & pop” style stores to dispense “medical marijuana” instead of legitimate pharmacies where legitimate pharmaceuticals are dispensed?
This is the last one, sorry.
Did anybody think about the the increased amount of traffic from surrounding area’s that are going to come here for the “medical marijuana”?
Did anybody think of the increased transient foot traffic in the county and tent cities of homeless that will inevitably pop up around the county who will have there “scripts” and will become potential civil rights cases with the spotlight on Flagler County.
I can just see the property values plummet again.
Wishful Thinking says
Quick history lesson:
FLAGLER COUNTY JUST CELEBRATED 100TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NOT ONE SINGLE PHARMACY IN EXISTENCE………
CURRENT PROPOSAL WILL ALLOW ZONING CODES FOR PHARMACIES FOR THE FIST TIME IN HISTORY …… AND ONLY BECAUSE THE COMMISSION WILL HAVE TO ALLOW REGULAR PHARMACIES IN ORDER TO ALLOW THE CASH ONLY POT DISPENSARIES.
WHAT’S THE SUDDEN CONCERN FOR OUR ‘HEALTH WELFARE AND SAFETY BOYS?” GREED PR STUPIDITY OR BOTH
Maybe we should wait for the vote before we start lynching everybody? Just a suggestion.
Quail Hollow denizen says
Weed is less harmful than alcohol. It’s obviously helpful in some medical conditions. Driving Impaired is light years worse with booze. The yahoos need to get with it.
Closed minded people up in here lol
Actimg like a plant can do so much damage.
Bitch about more important things like the meth and herion addicts tjat are taking over
Dillon Cole says
It’s amazing how the old “cronnies” are so against something that will help those with cancer and other terminal illnesses, yet they hop on Old Kings Row A/K/A Drunk Ave, stopping at The I.A.Club, The Elks, The VFW, etc for what? Cheap, subsidized COCKTAILS, mixed with High or low BP, heart, etc meds, then driving back home loaded in their huge living room on wheels cars (with a box of kleenex in the back window and A HANDICAP PLACARD IN THE FRONT! WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW) That is what I say is dangerous. Stop being so f*ING selfish. We all know that at a certain age you all start to try and find your way into heaven by being good little boys and girls, but judging and being selfish to the sick isn’t going to help your journey. Do some research on the statistics of alcohol vs cannabis related crimes, deaths and injuries. Stop being such hateful hypocrites. Volunteer somewhere instead of complaining about things that won’t even affect you. The last time I checked, the booze you have in your cupboard never helped someone with cancer unlike cannibis. LEARN BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
ConstantlyAmazed, it seems as though you have been living under a rock for the past several decades. Morphine, amphetamine, and other drugs that rival heroin in potency have been legally prescribed for medicinal purposes for a very long time. Throughout all those years, the legitimate pharmacies you love so much have been dispensing drugs that kill roughly 100,000 people per year, though that’s nothing compared to the number of alcohol and tobacco related deaths. All the while, cannabis has remained illegal without causing a single death. Care to explain that?
Ben Hogarth says
We really have to laugh at the absurdity of the wild assertions that state:
A) Pot dispensaries will open everywhere and run wild
B) Local governments banning dispensaries will keep people from access
C) The community will be safer without dispensaries
All of the above are false on their face.
1. Pot dispensaries have very strict regulations in the new law regarding their security and oversight procedures.
2. The process for a person to acquire their doctors prescription, registration card, and finally be ready to purchase medical cannabis can take at least 60 days initially.
3. Additionally, not all prescribed Marijuana will contain THC and euphoric properties found in cannabanoids. And overall a person would have to smoke an equivelant of 40,000 joints in one sitting to die from a drug overdose associated with Marijuana use.
And all of these points are supplemental to the fact that right NOW you can find many of your fellow neighbors, (regardless of their color, creed, or socio-economic status) with illegal, recreational or medicinal cannabis. The very assertion that cannabis will suddenly be available to everyone following this new decision and will proliferate to each street corner of our communities is one of the most idiotic and ignorant statements anyone on any public forum could make. I ask that anyone who has read such statements, ignore them and read relevant literature freely available online from the medical community, law enforcement, and the legislature.
The fact we entertain 30 second “snippets” of ignorant and anonymous commentary is exactly why this country is upin total political chaos. Now is the time for clarity and for reason – NOT for boisterous, hollow commentary. It applies to Medical Marijuana and every other major issue plaguing this nation today. We have spent the better part of 50 years entertaining this insanity and play time is over. It’s time for serious solutions prescribed by serious people.
Wait and see.
Nahhh wait n see nothing exit stage right sooner than later
Lmao Bunnell is full of dispensaries that is so true..but it’s freaking pot ppl..get off it..and this whole country is full of drunks too. Get rid of the alcohol and make that illegal..who’s ever died from weed..you narrow minded assholes..and also Bunnell is filled with aids ppl who have aids are on the top priority of getting medical weed
I don’t smoke marijuana nor do I drink alcohol,but if I had to pick what was the worser of the two,it would be alcohol consumption.The trail of destruction left by alcohol abuse in the United States is hard to ignore.An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities). End the nonsense ,make marijuana legal .The tax revue could do wonders for Flagler county,the state of Florida .The state of Colorado pulled in nearly $200 million in tax revenue last year thanks to its $1.3 billion in marijuana revenue and guess what Colorado is still there,it didn’t go up in a puff of smoke. .
Dee K Griggs says
If people from Bunnell have a hard time getting to a marijuana medical dispensary .They have the same problem getting to many other places. Flagler Cointy, which includes Bunnell ,Palm Coast, Flagler Beach needs public bus transportation. Not just these little buses you schedule 2-5 days out. But regular buses with many bus stops that can get people from A-Z,. Flagler County has a,lot of older people that might have given up driving or should. Buses going 10 miles is $15.& Tip , that is a one way trip. .If someone has car problems and it is going to be a few days to a few weeks to get it repaired depending on cost, then your hit with $40. a day transportation to get to work and home that delays repairs. Yes you can call a taxi, tonight someone called 7 taxis before anyone picked up. So get up to date on thinking about public transportation also.
It is good for the PEOPLE and good for the environment. May also be a much needed safety factor as well.