It could take as long as a year before Palm Beach County begins accepting zoning applications for medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries now that commissioners have approved a moratorium.
Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the moratorium during a zoning hearing Thursday, when they also backed a land use change that would allow a horse manure recycling facility to open between Belle Glade and Wellington, the epicenter of the county’s booming equestrian industry.
The land use change will be reviewed by state officials before coming back to commissioners for final consideration in March or April, when Horizon Composting hopes to get zoning approval for its facility.
On the pot moratorium, commissioners gave themselves a year to see what actions state lawmakers take this spring before enacting regulations for unincorporated parts of the county.
Voters last fall overwhelmingly supported a change to the state constitution allowing people with debilitating physical conditions to use marijuana.
Commissioners made clear Thursday that they will enact rules for medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries.
Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said she understands on a personal level the pleas of those who argue medical marijuana offers them relief from conditions that aren’t successfully managed with traditional medication.
McKinlay said her sister was 32 when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.
“I watched her have to go through hospital visit after hospital visit,” McKinlay said. “It’s really hard to watch someone go through that. I just want to assure the public that we’re going to move as quickly as we can.”
That won’t be quick enough for some.
“This could help people, and you’re dragging your feet,” said