3 To Know: Collier lengthens medicinal marijuana ban

Marco Eagle

1. Collier lengthens medicinal marijuana ban

Medical marijuana buds in large prescription bottle with branded cap on black background

Medicinal marijuana dispensaries will be banned in Collier County for another six months as local commissioners try to wait for state lawmakers to change the rules surrounding them.

County commissioners want control over the number of dispensaries that could open after voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 opening up rights for the use of medicinal marijuana.

The state law doesn't give counties that control. Local governments have two options: Either ban dispensaries outright or treat them like pharmacies.

If counties opt to allow the dispensaries, they wouldn't have any say over how many could open or where they could open, except for keeping them from within 500 feet of a school.

Increasing the ban six months should give lawmakers time to change the rules, Commissioner Burt Saunders said.

2. New holiday boat parade planned for Dec. 9

Although the traditional Christmas Island Style boat parade was cancelled due to hazards on the route, a group of holiday-spirited boaters have planned a Marco River-only boat parade (safe route) on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The best place on the island to view the fun and watch Santa arrive by boat will be at the Marco Island Yacht Club. There will also be a raffle to win a three-month Yacht Club trial membership with the proceeds going to support the Marco Patriots.

Cocktails start at 5 p.m. with $40 per person dinner seatings at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dinner reservation required with credit card guarantee.  Call the Yacht Club at 239-394-0199 (Ext. 301) to reserve your spot.

Boaters who want to join the parade should e-mail Peggy Frazier at frazier@chartermi.net or call 906-228-6670 for details. 

3. Florida gas prices expected to jump again

Florida gas prices are expected to increase this week, just as the holiday season is kicking into full swing.

Prices have been declining for the past two weeks, and averaged $2.46 per gallon statewide Sunday, AAA reports. The state average is 3 cents less than a week ago, yet remains 46 cents higher than this time last year, AAA says in a news release Monday.

And prices are expected to increase after Thursday, when OPEC nations meet, AAA forecasts.

"Prices at the pump are poised for an increase of 3 to 5 cents, based on current fundamentals," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for the AAA—The Auto Club Group.

"However, the oil and gasoline markets are likely to be volatile this week, and prices could face additional upward pressure as we creep closer to the OPEC meeting."

Angie Pugliese pumps gas at the Marathon gas station on the corner of Davis and Collier Boulevard.