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Health Officials Lighting A Fire Under Medical Marijuana Rulemaking

Department of Health Negotiated Rulemaking Hearing
Nick Evans

Implementation of Florida’s low-THC marijuana statute has been stalled since the Department of Health’s proposed rules were overturned in court late last year.  Agency officials are hoping a two-day marathon rulemaking session will help jumpstart the process.

Stakeholders in Florida’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry are raising a number of concerns this week in Tallahassee.  Growers worry whether they can get legal protection for their existing businesses by creating a separate corporation if they’re chosen to cultivate cannabis.  Bruce Knox of Knox Nursery in Winter Park believes the Legislature would approve.

“Well I think we need to look back to what the original legislative intent was,” Knox says.  “And the legislative intent was for the nurseries not to jeopardize themselves and their history.”

The Department of Health has brought together 12 participants with experience in nurseries, other states’ medical marijuana industries, and Florida administrative law.  The committee is hoping to have a draft rule completed by the time they adjourn Thursday evening.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.