Wildwood commissioners take stand on medical marijuana

Three Wildwood commissioners Monday night endorsed a ban on medical marijuana treatment centers in the city.

An ordinance will be drafted and a formal vote taken at a future meeting. Two commissioners were missing from Monday’s meeting.

Last November, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing the treatment centers.

State legislation passed in June gave Florida cities and counties the options of banning the centers or permitting them under pharmacy regulations. Either option could cause problems, said city attorney Joshua Bills.

A ban could be challenged as violating the constitutional amendment while authorizing the centers would allow them to locate anywhere that pharmacies are permitted.

Bills said more legislative changes are expected.

“There are some really big holes and problems with this,” he said.

Mayor Ed Wolf said he favors a ban and that people will be willing to travel to the Sumter County centers.

“My personal feeling is this is not a whole lot different than a medical specialist,” he said. “You’ll travel to see a medical specialist.”

Sumter County commissioners voted to ban medical marijuana treatment centers except two already approved. One is located on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 south of the Marion County line.

In other business, commissioners voted to expand the boundaries of The Villages Community Development District 12 beyond the Village of Fenney to the Florida Turnpike, where land soon will be developed. The district will expand from 699 acres to 1,682 acres.

The commission also approved 10 members of a revamped Citizens Advisory Committee, which will work on chronic issues in Wildwood.

Development director Melanie Peavy said citizen interest has been encouraging.

Commissioner Joe Elliott called the committee formation “a brilliant first start.”

Members include Jackie Bostick, John Weaver, Dallas Isham, Jackie Gardner, Jay Turner, Robin Caruthers, Thordis Williams, Theresa Williams, Don Winters and Mary Wimberly.