Miami, Florida, Says Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Are IllegalPosted by On


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Five years after Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana, the City of Miami is still fighting to keep dispensaries from operating within the city limits, even as surrounding municipalities embrace them.

Medical-marijuana dispensaries have been permitted in Florida since voters approved Amendment 2 in 2016. In the intervening years, Miami Beach, North Miami, and Coral Gables have allowed marijuana businesses to operate. Yet Miami city officials haven’t written a single ordinance pertaining to medical marijuana, either banning or regulating it.

Their indecision is now playing out in real time as a Los Angeles-based company fights to open a dispensary in downtown Miami. Despite a key vote from a city board last month saying the company should be allowed to set up shop, the city’s zoning office is moving forward with an appeal, which it filed last week.

The company, MRC44, first applied in February 2019 for a certificate of use  to open a cannabis dispensary at 90 NE 11th St., near the nightclubs Space and E11even.

A month after submitting its application, the company received an unexpected response. City Zoning Administrator Joseph Ruiz denied the certificate of use based on guidance from the city attorney’s office, which has taken the position that marijuana is illegal…

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I Support

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Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Five years after Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana, the City of Miami is still fighting to keep dispensaries from operating within the city limits, even as surrounding municipalities embrace them.

Medical-marijuana dispensaries have been permitted in Florida since voters approved Amendment 2 in 2016. In the intervening years, Miami Beach, North Miami, and Coral Gables have allowed marijuana businesses to operate. Yet Miami city officials haven’t written a single ordinance pertaining to medical marijuana, either banning or regulating it.

Their indecision is now playing out in real time as a Los Angeles-based company fights to open a dispensary in downtown Miami. Despite a key vote from a city board last month saying the company should be allowed to set up shop, the city’s zoning office is moving forward with an appeal, which it filed last week.

The company, MRC44, first applied in February 2019 for a certificate of use  to open a cannabis dispensary at 90 NE 11th St., near the nightclubs Space and E11even.

A month after submitting its application, the company received an unexpected response. City Zoning Administrator Joseph Ruiz denied the certificate of use based on guidance from the city attorney’s office, which has taken the position that marijuana is illegal…



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