At this rate, I think it will have taken Florida longer than any other state to implement one, single, medical marijuana law. Since being signed into law in 2014 we’ve continuously hit one hold up after another – and just when it feels like we’re finally picking up momentum and getting somewhere, things come to a screeching halt.
After the five allotted nurseries were selected at the end of November it seemed that we may finally see patients getting relief early in 2016. Hopes for that might have been too high, however, because a total of 11 different companies have challenged the Department of Health’s ruling on the matter.
These challenges range from a dispute over what financial information was required in the application (filed by Tropiflorida) to being “erroneously disqualified based on a background screening of the company’s research and development director (Felasco Nurseries).
Each of these challenges will be dealt with on an individual basis – which could lead to a much longer wait before the selected nurseries are even able to plant the cannabis crop. On top of that, once the judges make their ruling on these challenges, each nursery still has the option to appeal to a state court.
Once the deadline for challenges was up (on Monday Dec. 14th) the Department of Health – who made the selection – issued the following statement:
“The department remains committed to getting this product to children with intractable epilepsy and people with advanced cancer as safely and quickly as possible. The department will now review all petitions filed and evaluate the path we need to take to keep this process moving forward.”
Now, I understand that each of these nurseries were extremely keen on getting their foot in the door with the growing medical marijuana industry – however with all the changes coming, it’s unlikely that they will not have a second shot at it.
There has been plenty of talk of expanding the number of “dispensaries” allowed by the Charlotte’s Web law and with United for Care’s medical marijuana initiative looking so promising, there is no doubt there would be need for more than five locations.
If only these companies would just be as patient as they are asking the patients and their families to be. The high CBD strains could be available as soon as spring 2016 if there were no more hold up’s. Now those in need must continue to wait – likely until much later in 2016 – and it could have easily been prevented.