Charlotte's Web

greenhouses and plants
Loop's Nursery

More than two years after lawmakers legalized a limited type of medical marijuana, an administrative law judge heard arguments Wednesday in a dispute about whether a Northeast Florida nursery should receive one of the highly sought-after licenses to grow, process and distribute the non-euphoric pot.

greenhouses and plants
Loop's Nursery

Nurseries have filed more than a dozen challenges to the medical-marijuana licenses granted by Florida health officials, with some asking that the licensing process be put on hold until their petitions are heard in court.

As of Monday's 5 p.m. deadline to challenge the licenses, the Department of Health had received 13 petitions, according to agency spokeswoman Mara Gambineri.

cannabis bud
Ryan Bushby / Wikimedia Commons

Medical marijuana legalization may be heading back to the ballot in Florida next year. An initiative would allow patients to smoke or ingest cannabis in several forms.

At the same time, Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) is pushing a more narrowly tailored proposal aimed at giving relief only to the sickest people.

Last year, Florida legalized Charlotte's Web, a low-THC oil made from cannabis for some medical uses. The state is still deciding which nurseries will be awarded a license to grow and distribute the drug. Two nurseries in Jacksonville have applied. 

Here in our area, the City Council is taking a slow and deliberate approach to regulating its growing, processing and dispensing in Jacksonville.

Opposition is growing around the state after the Jacksonville City Council last week passed a moratorium designed to block any operation connected to the low potency strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web. Florida families who have children with cancer and epilepsy are advocating the legalization of low-THC marijuana to treat their kids. The Florida Department of Health began accepting applications for low-THC cultivation businesses last week. There will be only five licenses approved, one for each of five different geographic locations in the state.

marijuana plant
Brett Levin / Flickr

Medical marijuana that doesn’t induce a high is legal in Florida, but not exactly legal in Jacksonville. This week the City Council put a hold on growing, processing or dispensing marijuana in the city for at least six months.

Last year, the Florida Legislature legalized using non-smoked marijuana with little THC, the chemical that gets people high. The medicinal-grade weed is most commonly prescribed to kids who suffer from seizures.

marijuana plant
Brett Levin / Flickr

A panel comprised of the director of the state Office of Compassionate Use, an accountant and a member of the Drug Policy Advisory Council would pick five nurseries to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana under a revamped rule released Thursday by the Florida Department of Health.

The selection committee would take the place of a lottery system initially proposed by the agency but nixed by an administrative law judge last year and is one of a number of changes included in the 10-page draft rule.

  Next year, patients across Florida suffering from extreme seizures and a handful of other symptoms should be able to get their hands on low-THC marijuana, but exactly when next year is unclear.  An administrative court scrapped much of the proposed distribution framework last week.  That leaves stakeholders with hope for a better system, and certainty of a longer wait.

Judge Strikes Down Medical Marijuana Rule

Nov 15, 2014

An administrative law judge Friday struck down a rule proposed by health regulators as a framework for Florida's new medical-marijuana industry, finding multiple flaws in the controversial rule challenged by the state's largest nursery and other growers.

Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins sided with Miami-based Costa Farms and others that objected to the Department of Health's use of a lottery to pick five licensees that will grow, process and distribute strains of non-euphoric marijuana authorized by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year.

Regulators Take Another Shot at Pot Rule

Sep 10, 2014

 State regulators have hurriedly released a revamped framework for Florida's new medical-marijuana industry, making minor changes after a legislative panel shredded an earlier attempt.

The Department of Health's Office of Compassionate Use on Tuesday published the revised rule governing everything from stems and seeds to serving the substance to patients. The latest version of the rule includes some tweaks dealing with who can own the five "dispensing organizations" the state will eventually license.


Moody’s dealt a blow to Jacksonville's economic outlook this week.

noexcusesradio / Pixabay

Medical marijuana – at least one strain of it – is now legal in Florida.