Orange County discusses medical marijuana businesses

- Tuesday was the first of two hearings deciding the fate of medical marijuana in unincorporated Orange County.

One local mom claims medical cannabis helped save her son's life. Tricia Dennis said she was deeply worried about her disabled 17-year-old son, Noah.

“He was 44 pounds, he was seizing uncontrollably, and quite honestly he just didn't look good,” Dennis said.

After doctors turned Noah down for necessary back surgery, Dennis said they moved to Colorado where he got medical cannabis treatment. She said it changed everything.

“He gained almost 40 pounds, he was laughing, he had eye contact, he looked better, his face wasn't red anymore it didn't look like he was struggling, his seizures were diminished. So we came back and got the surgery,” she said.

She was expected to attend Tuesday’s Orange County Commission meeting. 

They were holding the first of two public hearings on a pair of proposed laws. One would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the county, but it would restrict where they'd go, what they'd sell, and when they'd work. The other ordinance would ban dispensaries outright in unincorporated parts of the county.

Commissioner Bryan Nelson said it's a way for the county to regulate what voters passed statewide.

“It's obviously something that people in the State of Florida want, some kind of a medical marijuana business model,” he said.  “It's just we haven't gotten it all figured-out yet.”

Dennis said she'll let the commissioners know where she stands.

“I think the key is to educate our lawmakers and these decision makers. They need to meet people like my son, they need to meet patients and they need to listen.”

The second and final public hearing on the ordinances is set for November 14. 

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