Advocates cried and cheered as Orange County commissioners unanimously voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the county at their meeting Tuesday night.
The vote halts the tide of Central Florida cities — including several in Orange County — that have banned dispensaries because of the restrictions placed upon them by the Florida Legislature.
In what Mayor Teresa Jacobs called a “poison pill,” the Legislature passed a law allowing dispensaries but also mandated that cities and counties couldn’t regulate them any more than pharmacies. The controversial provision came even though more than 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in a November 2016 referendum.
But despite those concerns, commissioners said they did not want to go against the wishes of the people of Florida. More than two dozen gave emotional testimony in favor of approval.
“I made my mind up on this two years ago,” said Commissioner Jennifer Thompson, who got emotional talking about her husband’s health issues. “This is an easy decision for me. You see how personal it is.”
Many speakers — all of whom backed