Letter to City Council-Blake Harper

Bill HB5A attached:




The voters of Florida approved an amendment to legalize medicinal marijuana. Florida Statute 386 (F.S.386) was enacted by the Florida Legislature to codify and implement the amendment.  Proposed Ordinance 2018-75 (2018-75) is intended to conform Jacksonville/Duval County law to F.S. 386.


F.S. 386 describes the entirety of the medicinal marijuana industry as Medicinal Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC's).  Four  components are established to recognize 4 different segments of the process:  Cultivation, Processing, Transportation, and Dispensary Facilities.


F.S. 386 places a specific restriction on all four segments of the process by stating none of them can be located within 500 feet of a school (up and through 12th grade).  The only other restriction that applies to all four of these segments is that any laws/restrictions/bindings placed on them at the local level does not act to thwart the  accomplishment of the constitutional amendment.


There are significant restrictions placed on Dispensary Facilities found throughout F.S.386.  For example, they must be considered for zoning purposes to be pharmacies.  In all such instances the words 'medical marijuana treatment dispsensing facilities', 'MMTC dispensing facilities', or 'dispensing facilities' are used.


Section 11 of F.S. 386 is titled 'Preemption' and sets out when State law takes precedence over local law. Throughout Section 11 the limitations  remain as described: 

1) the 500' limitation applies to all MMTC segments, and

2) specific limitations are applied clearly to Dispensary Facilities.


Ordinance 2018-75 in it's original form and in its substituted form missapplies/misinterperts F.S. 386 by removing all of the existing local zoning and building guidelines with respect to the Cultivation and Processing segments.  It correctly applies the 500 foot distance to these segments regarding their location/distance from schools.


Attached you will find the 40+ page Florida House of Representatives Legislative Analysis with respect to HB5A (the bill that established the present F.S. 386).


You will find on Page 23 the very clear statement that the constitutional amendment (source of the amended/current F.S.386) does not address local government's regulation of MMTC's.  The specific statement:


'The amendment also does not address the authority of local

governments to regulate MMTCs.'


Ordinance 2017-85 removes all existing zoning and building code guidelines/requirements thereby allowing situations whereby Cultivation and Processing segments of MMTC's could be located anywhere in the City of Jacksonville....of particular concern given the patchwork of  land uses mingling residential with other uses that could result in marijuana grows locating through out the city.  Social problems and control/security issues of these facilities would errupt (using a  term favored by a certain Councilman).


The solution is to at least retain the zoning and building restrictions already in place.  More constrictive regulations may be warranted given the documented criminal, drug abuse, and social problems found in other states as a result of abuse of medicinal marijuana (not unlike the opioid crisis found in this city).




as always...........

man's law changes, God's Law Doesn't!

Blake Harper,
author/publisher of.......
  The Clarion Bell Blog 

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