Anyone in Collier County with a prescription for medical marijuana will have to get it in the mail or drive to Lee County to pick up the medication.
Commissioner Rick LaCastro told WINK News that the board does not support medical dispensaries coming to the county. Instead of debating changing the land code to allow them, they came to an agreement by voting unanimously to ban them.
The idea of medical marijuana dispensaries in Collier County was rejected Tuesday.
“There’s a liquor store on every corner, there’s a vape store, there’s a cover bar on every corner, they’re all selling synthetic cannabis. We’re talking about medical dispensaries coming in and selling lab-tested medical products for people who are suffering from debilitating illnesses,” said Nick Garulay, founder and CEO of My Florida Green.
Patients can obtain medical certification from Garulai’s My Florida Green Company.
Chad Taylor was referred to My Florida Green about four years ago.
“It changed the game. I’m sleeping better than ever before, my anxiety is almost zero, and I just feel better,” Taylor said.
That’s among other reasons why Taylor and other medical-marijuana advocates are taking issue with the county commissioner’s repeal of an ordinance that allows dispensaries to operate in unincorporated parts of the county in the same zoning as dispensaries.
“When people suffer from debilitating conditions and say, ‘It’s good that you can drive that extra 12 miles or whatever, say that to a person who puts their wheelchair in a car, say that to a dying cancer patient, or some other people who suffer from severe anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder who can’t even leave the house,” Taylor said.
Patients in Collier County said leaders aren’t making it easy, but that’s what commissioners felt.
“That little extra convenience wasn’t enough, and it certainly didn’t lock anyone out with a prescription. They have a few ways to get it even at the local level,” Collier County Commissioner Rick Locastro said.
Proponents of medical marijuana say the benefits are undeniable. Garulay and his team plan to address the board at the next meeting.
The commissioners will review the ban decree in three weeks, on February 14.