Medical marijuana dispensaries given green light by Orange Park Town Council

by: Danielle Avitable, Action News Jax Updated:

Medical marijuana dispensaries can now operate in Orange Park.

It's the first community in Clay County to allow it.

"I think it's huge, I think the impact on the town is going to be huge," Orange Park Town Councilman Ron Raymond said. 

In a 3-2 vote, the Orange Park Town Council approved an ordinance that allows medical marijuana dispensaries.

Raymond voted against it.

"Additional police, additional problems. It's all downside," Raymond said. 

He said that more than 60 percent of the people who live in the town voted in favor of medical marijuana and that’s one of the reasons why he thinks it passed.

But he said there are more questions left unanswered.

"I just think fiscally it was the wrong thing to do and wrong kind of business to put into the town," Raymond said. 

The ordinance states that the businesses can’t be within 500 feet of each other or schools. 

People who live in the area said they think it would be good for business and patients would be able to benefit from the drug.

"I think it will do well for the people who need it," resident Doug Havens said. 

Havens said his stepsister recently passed away from heart issues and she could have benefited from medical marijuana. 

"She was in pain for a long time, she was on a ventilator and even before that she would have used it," Havens said. 

But not everyone agrees that this was the right move.

"In this area, I would say it would be bad," resident Rozell Perry said. 

Orange Park had a moratorium in place, but it expired two days before the ordinance was passed.