City officials in Port Richey moved closer to decriminalizing marijuana.

  • First reading to decriminalize marijuana passed in Port Richey
  • Garyn Angel, an edible's entrepreneur, spoke to the council on multiple occasions
  • The law would make small amounts of marijuana worthy of civil citation, not criminal charges

In a first reading Wednesday, Port Richey's city council passed the ordinance 3-2. During the meeting, there were no requests to change the language of the ordinance.

Lawmakers are set to make a final vote on Sept. 13.

The decision has been in the works for months, according to Mayor Dale Massad.

Port Richey is a small Pasco County city situated along the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 3,000 people call the coastal community home.

“Two percent of our population got arrested last year on simple cannabis charges,” said activist Garyn Angel.

If Angel’s calculations are correct, that’s about 50 people who faced criminal charges last year. Under the new legislation, they’d receive a civil citation.

Angel is more than just an "activist," he’s an entrepreneur acutely skilled at harnessing the power of cannabis.

In 2012, he built a machine capable of fusing cannabis oils into butter, soups, salad dressings and even candles. The machine retails for approximately $175 online and has built Angel a multi-million dollar company, Magical Butter.

As Port Richey’s local aficionado, Angel has spoken before the city council multiple times. This week, he brought data from surrounding communities who have already taken similar

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel here,” said Angel. “All we have to do is take the other legislation that has passed in other areas and apply it to the city.”