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Florida Medical Marijuana Sprouting at 5 OK'd Nurseries

Image: Florida Medical Marijuana Sprouting at 5 OK'd Nurseries
Pepper and tomato plants are seen inside a grow room at the Medical Marijuana Tampa campus in Tampa, one of several dozen Florida businesses hoping to cash in on the cannabis crop. (REUTERS/Scott Audette)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 07:02 AM

Florida medical marijuana is a few puffs closer after the state's health department approved five nurseries to grow and distribute the plants.

A 2014 state law allows for the use of marijuana extracts that are low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabidiol, or CBD, according to the Miami Herald.

The sponsor of the state's medical marijuana bill, State Rep. Katie Edwards, praised the announcement after numerous delays, said Florida Politics.com.

"At last, families seeking the relief only this drug can offer are a step closer to help," said Edwards. "It's a shame that more than 15 months after the legislature took this important step, the bureaucracy is catching up."

The medical marijuana will be sold at retail outlets owned and operated by the state-selected growers for patients who suffer from intractable forms of epilepsy or other neurological disorders that cause seizures or tremors, said the Orlando Sentinel.

A doctor's approval will be needed to access the state's medical marijuana program.

"The approved organizations have 10 business days to post a $5 million performance bond," the Florida Department of Health said in a release on Monday. "If an approved applicant fails to post the performance bond within the required timeframe, the applicant with the next highest score in the dispensing region will be selected and notified." 

"Approved dispensing organizations must request cultivation authority within 75 days of being notified of their selection and begin cultivation within 210 days of receiving cultivation authority." 

Seth Hyman, of Weston, Florida, whose 10-year-old daughter struggles with a severe seizure disorder, told the Sentinel that medical marijuana may not be for everyone.

"I think every patient like my daughter deserves the right and the chance to try it," said Hyman. "But I think patients and caregivers and parents should be cautiously optimistic."

Some of the nursey selections drew complaints from others who weren't selected, said the Herald.

"Today's award of licenses will raise serious questions about improper influence and self-dealing," charged Taylor Patrick Biehl, a lobbyist for the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida whose consulting firm represented three of the losing applicants.

The health department listed the Florida nurseries as Hackney Nursery Co., in Quincy; Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, in Alachua; Knox Nursery, in Winter Garden; Alpha Foliage, in Homestead; and Costa Nursery Farms, in Miami, said Florida Politics.com

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Florida medical marijuana is a few puffs closer after the state's health department approved five nurseries to grow and distribute the plants.
florida, medical marijuana, sprouts
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2015-02-25
Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 07:02 AM
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