Florida regulators expect to be able to provide registered patients access to a strain of marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web by the end of the year. The strain is non-euphoric and is high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
This development comes after Judge W. David Watkins dismissed the claim raised by the owners of Baywood Nurseries of Apopka who alleged that the proposed rule was unfair and vague. After Judge Watkins dismissed their challenge, the Department of Health issued the following statement:
“Today’s ruling allows the department to move forward with implementing the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, approved by the legislature in 2014. The department remains committed to ensuring safe and efficient access to this product for children with refractory epilepsy and patients with advanced cancer. We are moving swiftly to facilitate access to the product before the end of the year.”
About 100 nurseries meet the necessary criteria
The Florida Department of Health is expected to start accepting applications from eligible growers within three weeks. The growers could start selling to registered patients who register with the state within months.
Under the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, only Florida nurseries that have been in business for at least 30 years and grow at least 400,000 plants are eligible for one of five licenses to cultivate and sell marijuana.
Under the proposed rule, dispensaries have to prove that they can stay in business for at least two years and be able to cover all costs (i.e. startup costs, bond fees, insurance). The agency will next certify the rule, expected to take about 20 days, and applications would then be submitted within 21 days after that.
Patients have new hope
The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 will provide treatment to people who suffer from diseases such as epilepsy and cancer. Regulators expect that the selected nurseries will commence growing by the end of the summer.
“I am one happy legislator,” said Republican Representative Matt Gaetz who is one of the sponsors of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014.