Florida Approves 5 Nurseries To Grow Medical Marijuana | Tampa Bay Times

State health officials announced Monday that five Florida nurseries have been chosen to cultivate and distribute the first legal marijuana in the state, opening the door to the sale and distribution of the non-euphoric strains next year. The Alpha Foliage’s marijuana subsidiary will do business as Surterra Therapeutics 1 but, because the Department of Health allowed applicants to determine what portions of their application should be redacted and inaccessible to the public, most of the company’s 1,100-page application has been redacted. It is unknown where the company’s facility will be located and where patients can purchase the low-THC product. The growers are also banking on the Legislature to expand the number of medical conditions covered by the law or passage of the more wide-ranging medical marijuana initiative that could be on the November 2016 ballot. United for Care, a group led by prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan, is collecting signatures for the measure that would establish a constitutional right to medical marijuana for a broad range of conditions. A similar amendment in 2014 got 58 percent of the vote, just short of the 60 percent needed to become law in Florida. Patients were supposed to have access to the low-THC products on Jan. 1, when doctors who had undergone special training were supposed to begin ordering the medication, but the process has been delayed because of lawsuits and a judge’s decision last year that rejected health officials’ first attempt at implementing the law. Sharkey said there are about 20,000 potential patients in Florida that could benefit from the low-THC cannabis, also known as “Charlotte’s Web.” But that is a small patient base for an expensive investment, he said. Legislation is moving through the House and Senate that would expand the patient base by allowing for more medical conditions to be covered under the “right to try” state law. The measure would also allow growers to cultivate strains with higher THC levels that cancer patients say is necessary.

To read more visit http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/health-officials-pick-5-nurseries-to-distribute-first-legal-marijuana-in/2255100

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