Cocoa Beach leaders pass ordinance on medical marijuana dispensary locations

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COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Cocoa Beach became the first central Florida city to decide where medical marijuana dispensaries can go, months before the issue goes up for a state vote in November.

Cocoa Beach city commissioners passed the ordinance Thursday night.

Under the plan, dispensaries could go up near the historic pier and Ron Jon Surf Shop, which are two very popular tourist attractions.

The areas weren’t targeted, but with all the restrictions in the area, those were the only locations left.

The ordinance also dictates that dispensaries be no closer than 1,000 feet of a school or church, and no closer than 200 feet of a residential zoning district.

They would also have to be 200 feet away from the center line of State Road 520, A1A, Minuteman Causeway, or Ocean Beach Boulevard.

“I have no problem with medical marijuana. I have no problem restricting where they sell it. But, they have no control over where they smoke it,” said Cocoa Beach visitor Tricia Keen.

With the limitations there are only two areas where medical marijuana sales would be allowed—one by the Cocoa Beach Pier, and the other near the Ron Jon Surf Shop.  

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the new owners of the pier said marijuana dispensaries don’t fit their business model, and their goal is to be family-friendly.

Thursday afternoon, Ron Jon Surf Shop workers gave a similar response.

“I just don’t want it at all. But, I’m not going to be the meanie. But, definitely want to be protective of the children,” said Cocoa Beach visitor John Beavers.

WFTV learned some people in the marijuana business in California have expressed interest in expanding to Florida.

"I have been contacted by people who are in the marijuana business in California, one in San Diego and one in Santa Cruz. They are looking to expand where they can expand. They just want to know what's going down with our ordinance," said Cocoa Beach City Commissioner Skip Williams.