Pasco County working to extend ban on pot businesses

Posted at 11:11 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 07:30:15-04

"The first dispensary did open in Florida, and the first package actually went to Pasco County," said Garyn Angel.

Angel says Pasco Counties stiff stance against the marijuana industry only forces people who need the drug to go outside the area to get it.

"We didn't prevent anything from happening at all, all we did was prevent new jobs and an industry from being formed here," said Angel.

Angel owns Port Richey-based which sells a machine that blends marijuana and butter to create edibles.

"This is the opportunity to really embrace plant based medicine and not just focus on cannabis but to focus on affordable healthcare and new hope for people who are currently suffering and out of options," said Angel.

But Pasco County leaders see if differently.

They are currently working to extend its current ban on the growing, processing and distribution of marijuana within the county. In fact, the sheriffs department recently presented statistics that show robberies increased by 200 percent in areas surrounding pot shops in California, while also showing traffic deaths caused by marijuana in Colorado have jumped by 92 percent.

"I would say no we don't need it," said Marsh Jones.

Jones has owned Happy Tunes Music in Lutz for 25 years. She says while she clearly wants people to get the medicine they need, she's not willing to risk her life's work for them to get it.

"People being held up, people being robbed and we've got enough of that, thank you, I don't think we need any more," said Jones.

Both Jones and Angel will have a chance to voice those opinions at a public hearing August 9. However, Angel worries the county's mind is already made up.

"What's going to happen is what always happens to Pasco County, is that the industry is going to develop around us and we're going to be left out of the industry," said Angel.