I am honored to serve once again as your Commissioner. As always, your concerns are my concerns.
I have received numerous inquiries from residents of all ages regarding Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in our city. There have been concerns about the proximity to residential neighborhoods, especially in the West Avenue and South of Fifth neighborhoods. Several residents have expressed their fear that recreational marijuana will soon be approved by the State of Florida. A state’s where recreational marijuana has been approved, there are lines of people around the block and an inordinate increase in the homeless population, such as in Denver.
On March 13 I will be referring an Ordinance to the Planning Board which will prevent more dispensaries from opening in our City. The medical marijuana dispensaries already opened or with approved building permits will not be affected by this Ordinance.
One dispensary has already opened at 1523 Alton Road. Another one has an approved building permit at 1439 Alton Road, and a third at 1011 5th Street could possibly obtain their permit in time to open. Together they take up more than 14,000 square feet of retail space.
There are many more dispensaries interested in opening in Miami Beach. They might not have our best interests in mind. Many of us are concerned about the negative impacts of expanding the number of dispensaries in our City and fear the negative impact on our health, safety and overall quality of life.
I do have friends who depend on medical marijuana due to chronic illnesses and pain, such as in Stage 4 cancer. By no means will this Ordinance impair their ability to obtain medical marijuana.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or you are more than welcome to attend our next Commission meeting this Wednesday, March 13 at 8:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. to express your concerns.
I look forward to working together to protect the quality of life of our wonderful community.
Joy V. W. Malakoff
Vice Mayor, City of Miami Beach