Health officials select five marijuana-growing nurseries in Florida

Florida Department of Health selects five marijuana-growing nurseries

Florida Department of Health selects five marijuana-growing nurseries

Florida’s long-delayed medical marijuana initiative took a step forward Monday with the selection of five large nurseries to start growing, processing and distributing the non-euphoric pot.

The state’s Department of Health chose the five from a list of 28 nurseries that had applied in July for the potentially lucrative licenses to provide Charlotte’s Web, a form of marijuana oil.

The product is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — which gives marijuana its psychoactive quality — but high in cannabadiol, or CBD, which research shows eases convulsions, inflammation, anxiety and nausea.

Cancer patients and those suffering from severe epilepsy were supposed to be able to obtain a non-euphoric marijuana oil dubbed Charlotte’s Web beginning Jan. 1, 2015. But crafting regulations for a new Florida marijuana industry has stalled the introduction.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether more delays could stem from legal appeals by any of the nurseries not selected by health officials.

Under the state’s 2014 law, the nurseries are chosen geographically, with Costa Nursery Farm in south Miami-Dade County, the location where patients from Palm Beach County would be expected to pick up the product.

Like all the winning nurseries, Costa is expected to post a $5 million bond within 10 days and 75 days from today to request approval to start growing medical marijuana. Once that so-called cultivation authorization is approved, growers must begin dispensing the product within 210 days, according to the notices sent Monday by the Department of Health.

 

 

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