Any potential controversy about the new City of Gulf Breeze ordinance that prohibits medical marijuana sales outlets within the municipality’s borders ended with no one speaking up in a public hearing on the matter Monday night.
Without opposition from residents, the City Council voted 5-0 for the ban to start immediately.
“The City Council finds that it would be in the public interest to exercise the option to ban Medical Marijuana Treatment Center dispensing facilities within the boundaries of the City at the present time,” the ordinance states.
Despite the 70 percent statewide voter approval of the expanded sale of a non-euphoric form of the drug last November, the five-member Gulf Breeze panel is balking at allowing sales in this beachy community of about 6,000.
Even Mayor Matt Dannheisser has acknowledged that about 79 percent of Gulf Breeze voters favored Amendment 2, which was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in June.
The new state law allows a city to prohibit dispensaries within its borders.
The Gulf Breeze ban— similar to one recently enacted by the City of Milton—doesn’t stop the dispensaries from opening in unincorporated parts of Santa Rosa County, where commissioners haven’t taken action on medical marijuana nor signaled an intention to do so. For now that means the sales outlets—which would fill doctors’ prescriptions for the drug— might be able to open in Midway or Navarre.