Maitland prepares to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries

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MAITLAND, Fla. - Leaders in Maitland are starting the process of drafting an ordinance that deals with medical marijuana dispensaries.

The ordinance would regulate where in the city medical marijuana dispensaries could operate.

City officials don't want any dispensaries near where children gather. They're considering prohibiting dispensaries from opening within 2,500 feet of schools, day cares and parks. Many parents, like Beth Lowney, agree with the plan.

"I wouldn't want that place close to where there are going to be kids all the time," Lowney said.

Officials said the ordinance would also ban medical marijuana dispensaries from having drive-thrus, like those at pharmacies and banks.

Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker said the city is still working on some of the details and the plan could be based on what is working in other states.

"That's the key. See what's happening and see what they have done and that will help us form our opinion on how best we can deal with this situation," Schieferdecker said.

The mayor said at this point, the medical marijuana dispenaries would only be permitted in an area zoned as Office Commercial level 3. Records show there's currently only one building with that zoning and it's on Southhall Lane in an area surrounded by office buildings.

"If they are in one designated area, I think that's perfect," Lowney said.

Leaders said they'll continue to research the issue and hope to have plans finalized in May.