Medical Marijuana

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.


Voters next November will almost certainly have the chance to again decide whether Florida should legalize medical marijuana, after narrowly rejecting an almost-identical proposal a year ago.

A Quinnipiac University poll last month found that nearly 90 percent of Florida voters support allowing adults to use medical marijuana. Numerous other surveys in Florida and across the country consistently show that a majority of voters endorse medical marijuana for sick and dying patients.

And voters aren't the only ones who've warmed up to the once-sticky issue.

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.

marijuana plant
Brett Levin / Flickr

The Jacksonville City Council and city planners met Tuesday to work on rules governing non-euphoric medical marijuana.

Last year, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed off on the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which allows patients on a special state-registry to use marijuana that won’t make them high, but can help with issues like seizures.

The Council is taking a slow and deliberate approach to regulating its growing, processing and dispensing in Jacksonville. Councilman Jim Love suggests the medicine be dispensed through pharmacies.

Jacksonville City Hall, St. James Building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council met for the last time Tuesday before newly-elected members take their seats July 1.

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 plants
eggrole / Flickr

Patients could have access to long-awaited, non-euphoric pot products by the end of the year, after a judge on Wednesday rejected a challenge to a proposed rule setting up the medical marijuana industry in Florida.

Department of Health officials could begin processing applications for the low-THC cannabis within 41 days of Wednesday's decision by Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins, according to an agency spokeswoman.

Watkins pointedly began his 68-page ruling with an excerpt from "Charlotte's Web," by E.B. White.

skeeze / Pixabay

Three-year-old Dinah is the latest face joining the entourage pushing for medical marijuana in Florida, arriving on the scene just as the Senate is poised to broaden the state's non-euphoric cannabis law approved last year.

Like others whose loved ones pleaded for the law, Dinah suffers from frequent seizures caused by severe epilepsy. The biggest difference is that Dinah is a dog.

The bulldog-labrador mix's owner, Lisa Miller, has spent nearly three decades walking the halls of the Capitol as a lobbyist and regulator pitching lawmakers on insurance issues.

marijuana plant
Brett Levin / Flickr

  Five months after narrowly rejecting a medical-marijuana ballot initiative, Florida voters overwhelmingly support allowing doctor-prescribed pot in the state, according to a poll released Monday.

The Quinnipiac University poll found that 84 percent of Florida voters back letting adults use medical marijuana if doctors prescribe it.

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.

Norma Lopez Molina/Orlando Magazine

The public face of the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida is currently traveling across the state to urge voters to pass Amendment 2 in November.

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.

Drones, marriage equality and Florida Blue are in the headlines today.

O'Dea / Wikimedia Commons

Forget the ice cream truck. if Florida marijuana entrepreneurs and health regulators get their way a truck carting medicinal cannabis could be coming to a street near you.

marijuana plant
Brett Levin / Flickr

A new poll is out showing that the state’s voters are actually in widespread agreement about something, and it’s an issue that cuts across race, age, gender and party lines.

Duval County Public Schools, Bill Gulliford and George Zimmerman are in the headlines today.

Marissa Alexander, the Shipyards and Quality Education for All are in the headlines today.


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.

Bridge to Success, Hemming Plaza, and water taxis are in the headlines today.

Tri'shawnna R. Mitchell, Keith Haring's Ghost, and the World Cup are in the headlines today.

Want to learn about starting up your own Marijuana business? Well, there’s a seminar coming to a city near you over the next couple months.  It’s offered by the Cannabis Career Institute, which according to its website, is America’s first and premier marijuana business training center.

Marissa Alexander, Jacksonville Jaguars, medical marijuana, and Ashley Nicole Chiasson are in the headlines today.

A new medical marijuana controversy erupted over the weekend when South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weighed in.

Wasserman Schultz chairs the Democratic National Committee. So last week, when she voted against legislation in the House that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, Florida took notice. That's because Sunshine State voters will decide in November whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.

The group that wants you to vote "no" on legalizing medical marijuana this November has launched a web site and produced a video. Its media warns that Amendment Two is much more permissive and loophole-ridden than most people realize.

Duval County Public Schools, medical marijuana, and Lyme disease were among our top stories this week.

Cannabis University of Florida / Facebook

They’re the father and son behind a Jacksonville-based company offering information for people looking to get into the pot industry — Cannabis University of Florida.