Medical Marijuana Gets A Start

An attempt to bring medical marijuana to the Sunshine State last year wasn’t successful. Voters turned down Constitutional Amendment 2 in November 2014. It fell just short of the required 60 percent. The Associated Press The Department of Health was required to create a registry, and medical centers were allowed to conduct research on cannabidiol and low-THC cannabis. Now a year behind schedule, Florida health officials on Monday selected five growers to process and distribute non-euphoric medical marijuana. That was step one. Many in the industry believe the biggest challenge in the drawn-out process is yet to come. The five winners, who scored highest among 28 applications, are Hackney Nursery in the Northwest region of the state; Chestnut Hill Tree Farm in the Northeast; Knox Nursery in the Central region; Alpha Foliage in the Southwest region; and Costa Nursery Farms in the Southeast region. The Department of Health has faced several court challenges while establishing the rules allowing the application, review and approval of the five regional producers, said Pigman, who is an emergency room doctor at Florida Hospital Heartland. Speaking as a physician, there is some evidence that cannabidiol may be effective in patients with intractable seizures, Pigman said. The studies suggesting benefit of cannabis for other conditions do not meet a scientific rigor that I expect. Parents of children with severe epilepsy pushed for a 2014 law to legalize the purportedly non-euphoric marijuana low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD. The parents contended it can end or dramatically reduce life-threatening seizures. Sen.

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