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Cynthia Brewer, medical marijuana patient advocate, talks about the future of medical marijuana in Brevard. Video by Malcolm Denemark

County commissioners will try again next week to figure out how to regulate what are known as “medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities” in unincorporated areas of the county.

Commissioner have been discussing the issue off and on since May of last year. 

There currently is a moratorium in place that prevents such facilities from opening in unincorporated Brevard. That moratorium is scheduled to expire with the end of the 2018 Florida Legislature session on March 9.

Next Tuesday, commissioners will hold the first of two required public hearings on a proposed ordinance, crafted by Brevard County’s Planning and Development Department, to amend the county’s zoning codes. The proposal would allow medical marijuana treatment centers in areas that have one of nine business, commercial or industrial zoning classifications. These areas would be the same ones where pharmacies, drugstores and sundry stores are allowed.

There currently are 3,748 parcels in the county with one of these nine zoning classifications.

More: Medical marijuana dispensaries blocked from opening by moratoriums, bans

More: Brevard Commission changes course, supports moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries

Commissioners could go with the staff proposal; let the moratorium “sunset” or expire without action; or ban medial marijuana treatment centers in unincorporated Brevard. Even with a ban on dispensaries, state-licensed treatment centers would be able to deliver to patients within Brevard.

Brevard’s 16 cities and town have a patchwork of rules related to medical marijuana facilities, according to a Planning and Development Department analysts. Some have banned them entirely, while others have moratoriums in place. Palm Bay, Rockledge and Satellite Beach are among the Brevard municipalities that allow such facilities.

Florida voters in 2016 voted in favor of the constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 2, to allow medical marijuana for certain medical conditions.

Amendment 2 gave doctors the authority to recommend marijuana for patients who have AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and other debilitating medical conditions.

There was 71.3 percent support for the measure by voters — significantly more than the 60 percent required for approval of a state constitutional amendment. In Brevard County, 70.9 percent of the voters supported the amendment.

Florida statutes give counties the ability to ban…