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City of Venice bans medical marijuana dispensaries

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VENICE, FL (WWSB) - The Compassionate Cannabis Clinic in Sarasota opened earlier this year and they've already had to switch offices to increase space.

"By limiting access you're doing nothing but making it very difficult for your constituents to find appropriate medical care," said Dr. Barry Gordon.

Dr. Gordon is the Chief Medical Officer at the clinic. He has harsh words for City of Venice elected officials who voted to restrict medical marijuana offices and dispensaries.

"Literally people come from all over the state to see what we're doing but here in our own home town doesn't seem to be interested enough to find out what we're up to here," said Dr. Gordon.

Dr. Gordon says he's invited some elected council members to come and see his office, but, he says they declined.

"I still believe they should say yes to offices and yes to dispensaries as well," said Bill Ahern.

Ahern is a Venice resident. While he supports medical marijuana, he does understand why there's trepidation with the city council and he summed up basically the same thing Venice City Council members said.

"There's a certain amount of conservatism in regards to moving forward with it. It's something brand new to get our heads around," said Ahern.

While City of Venice residents can get medical marijuana by being treated at offices outside the city, Dr. Gordon says restricting the offices to places away from the city limits could have legal implications, especially if the patient needs the medication delivered to them.

"Politicians need to understand it's just going to take one patient who is not allowed the access to his medication without having to pay an additional delivery charge who's willing to file a lawsuit against that," said Dr. Gordon.