Applications to grow Medical Marijuana in Florida could come due

Filed in Florida Marijuana News by on October 20, 2014 0 Comments

Applications to grow Charlotte’s Web Medical Marijuana in Florida could come due in December

Florida will join 23 other states where medicinal marijuana is legal once a challenge to proposed regulations is resolved. Attorneys in the case have until next week to file recommended orders for administrative hearing with judge W. David Watkins. Costa Farms, Plants of Ruskin and The Florida Medical Cannabis Association say DOH exceeded its authority in drafting regulations for the State’s Charlotte Web’s Law.

The petitioners challenged DOH on a lottery in the licensing process and expanding the applicant pool beyond what the legislature specified when it authorized the use of oil from a low-THC strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web” to treat seizures and patients with specified debilitating diseases. Depending on how Watkins rules, the deadline on application for one of only five licenses that will be awarded to cultivate, process and dispense medicinal marijuana could be set at the end of December or in January.

Watkins will rule by November 15. If he were to uphold DOH’s proposal and no changes to the regulations are required, then DOH would send the proposal to the Joint Administrative Procedural Committee for certification and file the rule with the Department of State 7 days later, on November 22. The rule would go into effect 20 days later, starting the clock on a 15-day application period which would end December 27.

If Watkins sides with the petitioners that the rule represents an invalid exercise of delegated authority, then DOH would have to file a 21-day notice of change, wait seven days for JAPC certification before filing with the State and the application deadline would come during the second week of January.

Any affected party could intervene in the process and challenge a proposed rule during the 20-day waiting period after it is filed with the State which would send the dispute back to administrative court. In that event, the application period could very well occur during the spring legislative session, giving lawmakers an opportunity to resolve the issues cropping up between DOH and growers.

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