CHIPLEY – Washington County Commissioners have once again extended the moratorium on implementing local medical marijuana regulations.

Made in a September 5 called Board of County Commissioners meeting, the decision to extend the moratorium was made in part because the county does not yet have an ordinance outlining local regulations for medical marijuana dispensing facilities and legal cultivation or growing.

Commissioners also approved the hiring of new legal representation in that called meeting following a round of interviews, with the board stating the new attorney should have the opportunity to draft and review the medical marijuana regulation ordinance.

The county attorney position was awarded to Fuqua, Milton and Carter Associates at Law, with partners Matthew Fuqua, Clay Milton, and Jeffrey S. Carter expected to all attend upcoming meetings until it is decided which attorney will become the county's dedicated representation.

The firm steps in following the departure of former County Attorney Jeff Goodman, who was appointed Circuit Judge by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the seat vacated by retired Judge Hentz McClellan.

That attorney will ultimately prepare a medical marijuana ordinance for commissioners to review for approval. The moratorium is now set to end December 31.

A previously suggested marijuana ordinance called for those wishing to establish a medical cannabis dispensary to first prove their certification from the state to do so as outlined in the Compassionate Use Act before beginning the process of requesting approval and premises authorization from the county, with subsequent certificates issued by the county to expire after three years.

In other business, commissioners approved an IT position for the county's constitutional offices. The $43,000 annual salary will be shared between the Board of Commissioners, Clerk of Court, and Supervisor of Elections offices, at $15,323, $11,000, and $16,677, respectively.

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners will meet at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday, September 19, to adopt the final county budget and again at 9 a.m. Wednesday, September 20 in a workshop, followed by a regular session.