Estero council votes to let dispensary moratorium expire in December

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ESTERO, Fla. Estero Village Council members voted Tuesday to let the medical marijuana dispensaries moratorium expire in December.

The public had the opportunity to voice their concerns at a meeting, which took place at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Village Administration building at 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle.

MORE: Bonita to vote on dispensary moratorium, despite Amendment 2

Amendment 2 was passed in November, making medical marijuana dispensaries legal. But officials in several Southwest Florida communities passed moratoriums to delay the process.

Village of Estero leaders feel the town is too small to qualify for medical marijuana dispensaries. The vote tonight was a recommendation from the Zoning and Planning Counsel.

There must be 67,000 residents, according to a marijuana advocacy group, but only 31,000 people live in Estero year-round.

My Florida Green CEO Nick Garulay built his entire career around medical marijuana, assisting more than 9,000 patients statewide get approved.

“There’s a lot of retirees here, but also a lot of those retirees are sick and they deserve access to a natural alternative and not the synthetic medicine that’s prescribed to people,” Garulay said.

Garulay believes medical marijuana is a solution to the opioid epidemic in Southwest Florida.

“Opioids are more readily available than naturally alternatives to synthetic medicines and their also somewhat over-prescribed,” he said.

Village of Estero leaders will ultimately make their final decision after the moratorium expires on Dec. 7.

“I would definitely chalk it up as a victory tonight for sure they didn’t say no,” Garulay said.

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