Newly elected City Councilman Nick Klufas voted against the moratorium, breaking ranks with his colleagues on the council for the first time.
Anyone who wants to open a medial marijuana facility in Palm Coast will have to wait a bit: The City Council has approved a nine-month moratorium on the operations or construction of medical marijuana facilities within city limits.
The temporary ban means that city staff won't have to accept requests for construction permits before the state has crafted regulations that could affect the facilities and where they can legally be placed.
The City Council's vote at a Dec. 20 meeting for the moratorium was 4-1, with little discussion. Councilman Nick Klufas voted against the moratorium.
He'd said at a previous City Council workshop about the issue that other states have dealt with medical marijuana already, and Palm Coast could be in a position to take a leadership role within Florida.
"Don’t we have the opportunity here to plan where want to put it, so we can be in the forefront of where we want to go with this, rather than sitting in the back seat?” he said at the workshop.
“We’re going to need to have that local discussion,” City Manager Jim Landon replied, “But we think the local discussion is too early to get started, because we can come up with one thing, and the state comes up with something totally different.”
Councilman Robert Cuff echoed Klufas’ concerns at the workshop — “I hate to see us just sit on our hands for nine months … for two stone tablets to come down from Tallahassee,” he said — but voted in favor of the moratorium at the Dec. 20 meeting.
Mayor Milissa Holland suggested raising the issue of medical marijuana at the upcoming legislative delegation meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m. Dec. 21 in the County Commission chambers at the Flagler County Government Services Building at 1769 E. Moody Blvd.