Micanopy commissioners are discussing a possible moratorium that would put a temporary freeze on applications for marijuana dispensaries in town.
Town commissioners met Tuesday night, hoping to pass a moratorium that will delay applications for marijuana dispensaries for one year. Commissioners say the purpose of the moratorium is not to prevent dispensaries in Micanopy, but instead to give themselves the time to gather all of the information.
Mayor Virginia Mance said it’s important they take their time with this: “We are following the road of being prudent and being sure we get it right the first time.”
The main issue that needs to be resolved is location. A marijuana dispensary is expected to create a lot of traffic, so it will need to have a large parking lot. Citizens at the meeting also requested that the dispensary be located somewhere other than downtown.
Town attorney Scott Walker said a planner will study traffic patterns in the town and determine the best district.
“It’s likely that we’ll take an existing highway traffic, heavy commercial district and say this is where it’s best suited,” he said.
Citizens expressed their concerns with the moratorium at the meeting. One said he believes medical marijuana is something that will benefit a lot of people, so it is not something that should be put on hold. Walker put this concern to rest and explained that the moratorium can be lifted before the one year mark as soon as the zoning issues have been worked out.
So far, there has been no formal request for a dispensary; this is all pre-emptive.
Town commissioner Joseph Aufmuth explained there must be a second reading of the ordinance before anything becomes official. This will give citizens the time to speak their minds on the moratorium.
“It has to go to a second reading — a second public hearing — so that you can’t just pull something over on the public,” he said.
The motion for a moratorium passed at the first reading; the second is scheduled for March 13.