Trulieve wants to put the first medical marijuana dispensary in St. Lucie County. KEONA GARDNER / TCPALM

ST. LUCIE COUNTY – New regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries will be submitted to a vote by the County Commission during a final public hearing on December 19.

The commissioners held a first hearing on Tuesday on the updated medical marijuana dispensary rules that would follow state law. as long as pharmacies are allowed.

No one spoke in public during the hearing and no commissioner commented on the measure.

State law, promulgated in a special session in June, provides local governments with only two options for dispensaries: prohibiting or allowing them under the same regulations that apply to authorized pharmacies.

St. The proposed Lucie County regulations would repeal those approved in May and set the same criteria for medical marijuana dispensaries used for pharmacies.

The outdated May ordinance required dispensaries to be separated by at least 5 miles and at least 1,000 feet from schools and parks.

The County Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously on November 16 to recommend that the County Commission adopt the updated rules.

St. Lucie County Commissioner Linda Bartz said she favors the county's revised rules for medical marijuana dispensaries. (Photo: CONTRIBUTES BY ST LUCIE COUNTY)

Commissioner Linda Bartz said she believes the ordinance will be adopted by the commission on the basis of discussions on the subject in previous meetings of the commission.

"I do not believe a ban is a good idea because I think people voted for medical marijuana," Bartz said in an interview on Wednesday. "I think it was a clear cry for that and I think we should not hinder the path of people who can get their medicine."

Bartz said medical marijuana helped his late brother, David, reduce the number of other medications he took to deal with his health problems before he died.

"He definitely made his end of life a lot, much easier, so I can see the benefits, I can see what he can do for the people," Bartz said. "We are a great community, I am safe and I am sure we have many people who need it."

The City of Port St. Lucie added medical marijuana dispensaries to its zoning code in August and regulates them as it does pharmacies.

Fort Pierce City Council held a medical marijuana workshop in August, but has not yet taken action.

The Indian River County Commission and the Vero Beach City Council have banned dispensaries entirely.

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