The Tampa City Council Thursday took the first of two votes on a proposed ordinance regulating the sale of medical marijuana inside city limits.
If passed, dispensaries couldn't open within 500 feet of schools. They would be allowed in commercially zoned areas – places pharmacies are allowed to operate in - but processing facilities would only be allowed in industrial districts.
All but one councilman voted to move the ordinance forward.
Councilman Frank Reddick said the task should have never fallen to state, county and city governments to begin with.
“Whether we like this or not, we've been put in this position. It's going to a billion dollar or more industry in this state, and I would just like to make sure we're doing the best we can to regulate it and make sure people are not being taken advantage of."
The city passed a medical marijuana facility moratorium earlier this year while waiting for the Florida Legislature to set up a statewide framework for the implementation of Amendment 2, passed by voters in the November 2016 general election. The moratorium expires Aug. 15.
The next vote for the ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 24 at 5:30 p.m.