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Officials Pitch Rules For Inspections At Marijuana Nurseries

The Department of Health began a new round of rulemaking to regulate operations for nurseries growing marijuana.
Scott Beale via Flickr

State health officials have selected the five nurseries charged with growing medical marijuana but their job is far from done.  Wednesday they laid out a set of rules to ensure nurseries grow the plant safely and securely.

Florida is taking the next step toward medical marijuana production.  Office of Compassionate Use Director Christian Bax says it has been a long road.

“We’ve moved into a new chapter,” Bax says.  “We’ve gone through the approval process, that process has completed, and now we have moved into building the ongoing regulation of these five dispensing organizations going forward.”

Despite a year and a half of patient effort on the part of Florida’s Office of Compassionate Use to select growers, rules governing their operations have yet to be written. 

But even if the guidelines aren’t official yet, Susan Driscoll of Alpha Foliage, and it’s retail face Surterra, says the growers already have a good idea of what the department wants.

“There were no surprises today,” Driscoll says.  “I mean everything that they’ve put in the preliminary rules is what we expected, you know it’s very in line with the application, so Surterra, we feel very comfortable that we can provide safe natural helpful products to the patients of Florida.”

So far four of the five nurseries have posted their $5 million performance bonds.  None have asked for authorization to begin cultivating the plant, but department officials say they’re ready to conduct inspections as soon as the nurseries are.