5 Florida Nurseries Selected To Pioneer State’s Medical Marijuana Enterprise
After much anticipation, the Florida Department of Health has announced five nursery operations awarded the handful of exclusive licenses to grow, process, and dispense “Charlotte’s Web,” a low-THC (non-euphoric) cannabis approved for patients with intractable epilepsy and people with advanced cancer.
Nearly 30 applications in total were received from 24 nursery operations during the three-week open enrollment period that took place in July. Several nurseries applied for licenses in more than one of the five designated regions (Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southeast, and Southwest).
The five approved organizations are:
- Northwest Region – Hackney Nursery Company
- Northeast Region – Chestnut Hill Tree Farm LLC
- Central Region – Knox Nursery Inc.
- Southwest Region – Alpha Foliage Inc.
- Southeast Region – Costa Nursery Farms LLC
According to the FDOH, the process and timeline for cultivation, processing, and dispensing to patients is set forth in rule and statute. The approved organizations have 10 business days to post a $5 million performance bond. If an approved applicant fails to post the performance bond within the required timeframe, the applicant with the next highest score in the dispensing region will be selected and notified.
Approved dispensing organizations must request cultivation authority within 75 days of being notified of their selection and begin cultivation within 210 days of receiving cultivation authority.
This announcement comes nearly 18 months after the historic signing of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 by Gov. Rick Scott. Speculation continues to swirl regarding access to full-blown medical marijuana, or even recreational, making it to the state ballot in 2016.
All along, the Department’s goal was to get low-THC to those who need it this year.
FDOH has initiated administrative rule-making to establish the protocol for the inspection of the five dispensing organizations.
A workshop will be held on Dec. 9 at the Department of Health in Tallahassee.