St. Augustine Prepares for Legal Marijuana
As states across the country have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational usage, St. Augustine City Commissioners have begun developing ordinances allowing the sale of low-THC marijuana. While Amendment 2 legalizing cannabis was not passed in Florida, the Senate legalized low-THC marijuana according to the “Compassionate use of low-THC cannabis” law. As this law becomes effective in 2015, St. Augustine must begin planning for its implementation and how it will handle the impending challenges.
What new zoning ordinances apply in St. Augustine?
The zoning ordinances cover the sale, gift, display, storage, delivery, and consumption of the legally-available marijuana. While some commissioners asked for increased regulations, the ordinances were passed as they came onto the floor.
These passed ordinances included:
- Defining what is officially considered legally available marijuana.
- Allowing hydroculture, agriculture, or cultivation of marijuana as an exception in Industrial and Warehouse zoning laws.
- Developing exceptions for manufacturing, processing, and production facilities in Industrial Warehouse Zoning codes.
Each zoning plan for legal marijuana must be approved by the city planning board and take the neighboring properties into account before approval. There has been some criticism over the language in the ordinances, such as the lack of clarification on some items that many feel should have been prohibited. However, city commissioners claim that their goal was to increase the possible medical uses that can apply based on this new law.
St. Augustine plans to monitor how the legalization of low-THC cannabis affects the operations of the city and if any further adjustments to the ordinances need to be made. While it may seem as though additional marijuana legalization is on the horizon, it is important to exercise caution with any controlled substance. Importantly, you or a loved one may still be brought up on marijuana drug charges despite these changes to the city code.
Call Albaugh Law Firm to schedule a free consultation if you find yourself facing charges.