I find it odd that some business leaders in West Palm Beach are calling for a moratorium on downtown medical marijuana dispensaries.
I admit that marijuana dispensaries seem to be clustered around Clematis Street, but I don’t think that’s sabotage, or out of character for the city.
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The Urban Development Authority apparently does this. The head of a group representing downtown business owners sent a letter to city officials claiming that the cluster of cannabis dispensaries “has a detrimental effect on the area by spreading misinformation about our community” and that it “contributes to negative perceptions of our place and prevents other More beneficial businesses open.”
I imagine these beneficial businesses include more businesses selling alcohol, by far the most popular intoxicating narcotic distributed in downtown West Palm Beach.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a junkie looking for a new place to smoke a marijuana card. My only card is from Costco. Yes, I am addicted to bulk buying.
But I do find it odd that the Downtown Development Authority thinks businesses that help people get excited are the opposite of the message in West Palm Beach.
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One thing’s for sure: Downtown West Palm Beach is all about getting buzzed. Just without the pan.
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Downtown West Palm Beach is littered with concrete sunshade towers rising dozens of stories high. Many of these projects will be luxury apartments and apartments that few can afford.
They’re places like “Forté on Flagler,” a 25-story luxury condominium building that’s starting to pop up on South Flagler Drive. When complete, there will be just 41 residences ranging in size from 4,200 to 8,400 square feet and priced at $14.6 million to more than $47 million each.
Or the 30-story twin towers on North Quadrille Boulevard near the courthouse. The project, called “One West Palm,” gained the existing 10-story limit in 2016 if developer Jeff Greene included offices and hotel rooms, as well as 328 apartments in one of the towers.
Those 30-story towers will soon join another project a few blocks to the south from a development firm led by Miami Dolphins owner Steven Ross. It has announced plans to build its largest office tower in West Palm Beach, a 25-story tower dubbed the “South of Wall Street.”
The project, called 515 Fern, has yet to break ground and plans to build a 375-foot tower.
Almost anywhere in an urban area, towers rise to dwarf the local landscape. Soon enough, West Palm Beach will have a sizable population living and working while using drugs. very high.
They all stumble. in the elevator.
So, I’m a bit confused why the DDA would consider marujuana dispensary out of place in the city center.
I mean, not everyone can buy an apartment in the Bristol sky for $18.9 million, a 25-story tower a few blocks south of the 25-story Waterview Towers, where you can Rent a four-bedroom apartment for $35,000 a month.
From the sheer number of impressive projects in these rising verticals, it’s clear that West Palm Beach must be in great demand. Keeping as far off the ground as possible has become a core tenet of the West Palm Beach development.
So for the vast majority of people who can only do drugs the old-fashioned way, marijuana dispensaries seem like at least a consolation prize.
Think of marijuana dispensaries as an endorsement of the vast majority of West Palm Beach citizens who have spent months and years of their lives enduring the inconvenience of construction of these sky-high projects. Motorists are stranded in downtown traffic amid never-ending traffic cones, slow-moving cement trucks and lane closures.
At least, the pharmacy says to them: someone thought of you.
Are you suffering from restless leg syndrome if you keep pressing the brake pedal while driving downtown? Do you regret pinning your foolish hopes on Banyan Boulevard? Does your body shudder involuntarily at the sight of traffic barrels?
Maybe medicinal marijuana is right for you. Come try one of our pharmacies.
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but not. The DDA proposes a six-month moratorium on allowing more than three marijuana dispensaries to operate in downtown areas.
City Commissioner Christie Fox told the Palm Beach Post that she is open to the idea of temporarily halting more dispensaries.
“Hitting the pause button on the permitting process for now will give us more time to understand what the current law allows and to hear the concerns of residents and businesses in the area,” she said.
Put me off by worrying too many people are building multi-story buildings in West Palm Beach.
If nothing can be done about it, and the construction of downtown is crippled for many years to come, then perhaps more dispensaries could be considered.
Or the fudge distribution on traffic corners.
Frank Cerabino is a columnist for the USA TODAY Florida Network’s Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help support our journalism. Subscribe now.