3 To Know: Local COPCN bill passes both state chambers

Marco Eagle

1. Barron Collier Cos. eyes land for medical marijuana

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

Barron Collier Cos., one of the largest landowners in the state, might bring a medical marijuana treatment center or licensed grower to northern Collier County.

The facility would be built on 70 acres of farmland about 4 miles north of Immokalee on the west side of State Road 29, according to a November letter to Collier County's zoning department.

The letter, written by lawyers representing Barron Collier Cos., asked the county to clarify its zoning rules to ensure a medical marijuana facility would be allowed at the site. That is a prerequisite to apply to the Florida Department of Health for a license to operate a medical marijuana treatment center.

It would be allowed, said county zoning director Mike Bosi.

2. Local COPCN bill passes both state chambers

A local bill that would allow Marco Island to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) without Collier County's permission has passed both the House (112-1) and Senate (38-0).

"Bold action and an uncompromising dedication to the needs and concerns of our island citizens have led us to this point," Jared Grifoni, City Council chairman and author of the bill, said.

The bill will now appear before Gov. Rick Scott.

3. Collier needs report includes housing, health care

The results are in, and the needs among Collier County residents are plentiful on such topics as wages and access to health care and mental health services.

What stands out among the 26 organizations involved in a needs assessment, spearheaded by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, is consensus about the findings and a desire to act, said Mary Beth Geier, Florida director and senior program officer with the Schulze foundation.

The “Community Needs and Assets Assessment” findings will be released Tuesday, March 13, at the Naples Daily News in presentations at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The public can attend and ask questions.

There is no advanced registration. The Naples Daily News is at 1100 Immokalee Road in North Naples.

Volunteers help parents pick out shoes for their children during the Holiday Gift Shop at the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Parents could pick out up to three gifts for free per child for Christmas.