Bureaucracy Stalls Florida’s Charlotte’s Web Law

Filed in Florida Marijuana News by on October 22, 2014 0 Comments

Bureaucracy Stalls Florida’s Charlotte’s Web Law

Florida’s “Charlotte’s Web Law” for Medical Marijuana is not having a smooth roll out. Lawmakers approved the Compassionate Medicinal Cannabis Act in May and Gov. Rick Scott signed it in June, but bureaucracy has stalled implementation.

A complex set of regulations for a medicinal marijuana industry is tied up in court delaying the cultivation and processing of marijuana. Doctors can order Charlotte’s Web medicine starting January 1, but the product may not be available.

The Florida Medical Association has missed a deadline to create a continuing education course for physicians wanting to use cannabis oil to treat seizures, ALS and patients with debilitating diseases. That deadline was October 1.

A spokesperson said the online course, which physicians must take before they can order medicine, is finished and is undergoing last-minute testing. Also, the association continues to gather information from the Department of Health and the University of Florida. “The FMA is putting every effort into making sure that the educational course on low-THC cannabis is completed as soon as possible,” said Melissa Carter, the FMA’s executive director for continuing education. Carter said the site is expected to go live any day.

The delay angers patient advocates and one said the association should be ashamed of itself for missing the deadline. “Pot politics has forced otherwise law abiding citizens to break the law or forgo a safe, sound, effective treatment option for over 40 years,” said Jodi James. “CME credits for cannabis-based treatments are already available from a number of private sources. This is just another example of how a government dictated monopoly failed the people it was intended to serve.” Jodi James leads the Florida Cannabis Action Network which has been lobbying for the legalization of medicinal marijuana since 1998.

Growers and DOH have made the question of the missed deadline academic. Costa Farms and others have challenged DOH’s proposed regulations for implementation of the Compassionate Medicinal Cannabis Act of 2014. An administrative judge will rule by mid-November in the case and, depending on the how case is decided, licenses to cultivate, process and dispense medicinal marijuana could be awarded in either late December or January.

It could be four or five months after that before any Charlotte Web’s oil would be available.

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