By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On October 24, 2017, Lake County commissioners decided to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, citing the willingness of some neighboring communities to allow medicinal pot shops. The ban applies only to unincorporated areas of the county and not to the surrounding cities.

Access to Medical Marijuana.

Twenty-five states have already approved the use of medical marijuana and four states allowed recreational use. California, along with Massachusetts and Nevada approved the legalization of recreational pot use. Florida was joined by Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota in approving medical marijuana use.

Florida’s Amendment 2 passed with 71 percent of the vote. Those opposed to Amendment 2 feared that its passage would lead to pop-up dispensaries with little supervision. But supporters are convinced that it’s a necessary treatment for a wide variety of conditions from seizures to PTSD, addiction to opiates and cancer.

Non-Supporters of Medical Marijuana.

Lake County officials cited restrictive state rules that give local governments two zoning options: ban them all together or treat them like a CVS, Walgreen’s or another pharmacy. Government leaders in Apopka, Winter Garden and Winter Park have also banned marijuana dispensaries.

“It doesn’t mean people cannot have medical marijuana delivered right to their homes from a dispensary,” Commissioner Leslie Campione said after the unanimous vote. “It doesn’t mean they can’t get a prescription or can’t use it. We just don’t feel like we should be introducing these storefronts and dispensaries in the rural areas.”

In 2016, Orlando’s City Council also voted to temporarily ban medical marijuana dispensaries. Click here to read more.

Be sure to check our Marijuana Law Blog regularly to stay on top of marijuana policy in Florida and in the United States.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.


Hudak, Stephen. “Lake County becomes latest in Central Florida to ban medical marijuana shops.” Orlando Sentinel. (October 24, 2017). Web.

Medina, Carlos. “Lake County set to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.” Daily Commercial. (October 10, 2017). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

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