Ordinance 23-14 is now being considered by the City Commission of Delray Beach, and if enacted, the new ordinance would amend the Land Development Regulations, establishing a 6 month building moratorium on medical cannabis dispensaries and treatment centers. Delray Beach is also home to Delray Plants, one of the nurseries which could qualify to cultivate, process, and dispense low-THC cannabis under SB 1030, the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014.

All Permit Applications Would Be Suspended

Under the ordiance all “permit applications for marijuana dispensaries/medical marijuana treatment centers are temporarily suspended in order for the City of Delray Beach, through its officials and staff, to have adequate time and opportunity to review studies and to determine the adequacy of application criteria, standards and other approval processes related to the issue of said permits within the City of Delray Beach. Based upon the foregoing, there is hereby imposed a temporary moratorium on the review and action upon permit applications for marijuana dispensaries/medical marijuana treatment centers. During the time the temporary moratorium is in effect, the City will accept no applications for permits for the operation of marijuana dispensaries/medical marijuana treatment centers.”

Delray Plants Dispensary Could Not Open For At Least 6-9 Months

Under Section 2 of the ordinance, a dispensary or treatment center is defined as “a location or place permitted to sell legal marijuana/cannabis and/or a place where legal marijuana/cannabis is used in the management and care of a patient or the combating of disease or disorder.” This would mean that if Delray Plants, one of the largest nurseries in the Sunshine State, is chosen by the Department of Health as one of the 5 nurseries to cultivate, process, and dispense low-THC cannabis to patients, they would not be permitted to begin their medical cannabis operations until the moratorium is lifted.

If the City Commission enacts the ordinance, the moratorium will begin to go into effect for 6 months, and the Commission could choose to temporarily extend the moratorium for another 90 days, meaning medical cannabis dispensaries could be prevented from opening for at least 9 months if the ordinance passes. Any dispensary that would attempt to violate the ordinance would face up to a $500 fine or up to 60 days in jail.

Vote on Delray Beach Moratorium Postponed (Indefinitely?)

At the Commission’s July 15th meeting the vote on the ordinance was postponed. Had the ordinance passed a public hearing would have been held on August 5th. It appears the postponement of the moratorium could be indefinite. A call from Florida Marijuana Info.org to the City Clerk and the City Attorney’s office said there was no date set for a future consideration of the ordinance and that we would have to wait and see if the Commission decides to bring it up for a vote again in the future. The Secretary for the City Commission was unavailable for comment.