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Medical marijuana patients urge Collier County leaders to allow dispensaries

Posted at 6:29 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 18:29:30-04

Supporters of medical marijuana who have been trying to get dispensaries for the drug in Collier County gained a small victory Tuesday. At their regular board meeting, three out of five commissioners agreed to bring the question up for discussion - and a vote by the board - in early 2019.

Allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in Collier would require an amendment to the the county's land development code. But that would require a super-majority vote of four-to-one. Two commissioners, Donna Fiala and Penny Taylor, are opposed to the idea.

"How do you stop other people from taking advantage of something that helps people that really need it?" Fiala said. "That's the question."

"If the proponents are not able to convince Commissioners Fiala or Taylor to change their vote, it's not likely to come back any time soon after that," said Burt Saunders, commissioner for Collier County's District 3.

Currently, the closest medical marijuana dispensaries for most patients in Collier County are located in Fort Myers and North Fort Myers.