Latest on medical marijuana

Voters OK’d medical marijuana but cities aren’t welcoming pot shops

Voters OK’d medical marijuana but cities aren’t welcoming pot shops

Florida voters overwhelmingly supported the legalization of medical marijuana, but shops that would dispense pot in Palm Beach County likely will be few and far between as cities are trending toward banning the businesses. Six Palm Beach County cities already have banned marijuana dispensaries, while others are considering similar bans. Meanwhile, only Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and unincorporated...
New Boynton business to help people obtain medical marijuana cards

New Boynton business to help people obtain medical marijuana cards

Once home to a Waffle House, a new business is emerging on Boynton Beach Boulevard that’s part of the growing medical marijuana industry in Palm Beach County and the state. Called the Florida Medical Marijuana Health Center, two Boca Raton doctors specializing in medical marijuana will evaluate potential patients interested in using the medicine and will decide whether to recommend it. The center...

POINT OF VIEW: LW medical pot clinic has community responsibility

After years of legislative debate, exhaustive regulatory review, and two statewide constitutional amendment efforts, qualified patients will soon be able to enter the Knox Medical cannabis dispensary located across the street from Lake Worth City Hall. Physicians, caregivers, patients and their families will visit this modern facility to pick up their medicine or learn what steps must be taken to...
Editorial: Lake Worth officials must fix school, pot clinic feud

Editorial: Lake Worth officials must fix school, pot clinic feud

A-rated public schools are typically considered invaluable assets by a city. Assets that can be leveraged for marketing, and even business recruitment. The city of Lake Worth has one A-rated public school. One. And that asset — the 130-student Academy for Positive Learning — is arguably now at risk. Because the city, despite the K-8 public charter school being in its present location for...
Confederate statues poll better in Florida than statewide candidates

Confederate statues poll better in Florida than statewide candidates

Confederate statues have stronger polling numbers in Florida than President Donald Trump, Gov. Rick Scott and Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, according to a Florida Atlantic University survey released Tuesday. The poll of 800 registered Florida voters finds 49 percent saying public statues honoring Confederate figures should remain in place while 30 percent support their removal and 21 percent...
Editorial: Medical marijuana clinic, Lake Worth school a bad mix

Editorial: Medical marijuana clinic, Lake Worth school a bad mix

Thousands of Floridians are impatiently awaiting the arrival of medical marijuana. And well-funded companies, more corporate than counterculture, are gearing up around the state. But there’s trepidation, too. Although Palm Beach County commissioners are advancing an ordinance to allow dispensaries in unincorporated areas, many Florida municipalities have banned dispensaries, at least temporarily...
Medical marijuana dispensaries clear first step in Palm Beach County

Medical marijuana dispensaries clear first step in Palm Beach County

Medical marijuana dispensaries are one step closer to operating in unincorporated Palm Beach County after county commissioners gave preliminary approval Thursday to an ordinance regulating their location and operation. That ordinance could win final approval during a public hearing on Sept. 28. RELATED: Florida politics news in The Post In November, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved the expanded...
Florida issues license to 12th medical marijuana firm

Florida issues license to 12th medical marijuana firm

A longtime Jacksonville nursery has received approval for a coveted medical-marijuana license, as state health officials continue carrying out a new law that resolved key issues about the rapidly emerging cannabis industry. Loop’s Nursery & Greenhouses Inc. and the Florida Department of Health have reached a settlement to end a legal dispute about the license, according to documents posted Thursday...
Bank risks federal scrutiny, does business with marijuana growers

Bank risks federal scrutiny, does business with marijuana growers

Bankers and marijuana go together like arachnophobes and spiders, which is to say financial institutions studiously avoid any whiff of weed-related deposits. That’s why First Green Bank’s new strategy is so striking. The Orlando-based financial institution is aggressively courting Florida’s marijuana businesses. “It’s our understanding we’re the only one doing it...
Royal Palm Beach explains why it banned medical marijuana dispensaries

Royal Palm Beach explains why it banned medical marijuana dispensaries

Royal Palm Beach residents looking for medical marijuana will have to buy it elsewhere. The Royal Palm Beach Council recently voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the village by a unanimous 5-0 margin. This comes after nearly 75 percent of state voters wanted to legalize medicinal pot last year. READ: Wellington, Royal Palm Beach talk medical marijuana limits The council initially wanted...
Canadian cannabis company pays $40 million for Florida pot grower

Canadian cannabis company pays $40 million for Florida pot grower

In the first big-dollar deal in Florida’s budding marijuana industry, a Canadian company paid $40 million for one of seven firms allowed to grow and sell cannabis in the state. Liberty Health Sciences of Toronto this month bought Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua County, an operation that’s still very much in start-up mode. Chestnut Hill has yet to open a retail outlet, and Liberty Health...
Palm Beach County commissioners move to end moratorium on pot shops

Palm Beach County commissioners move to end moratorium on pot shops

Lake Worth is the only locale in Palm Beach County to welcome medical marijuana dispensaries for now, but that’s about to change. Palm Beach County commissioners on Thursday pushed forward the process of setting rules for pot shops in unincorporated areas. Finding spots for dispensaries can be tricky. In Lake Worth, the rare city that is welcoming of dispensaries, the principal of a charter...
NEW: Lake Worth to be home to Palm Beach County’s 1st pot dispensaries

NEW: Lake Worth to be home to Palm Beach County’s 1st pot dispensaries

As Florida’s medical marijuana industry takes root, the state’s seven licensed pot producers have opened dispensaries from Miami to Pensacola — but not, at least so far, in Palm Beach County. That could change in the coming weeks. Two cannabis companies plan retail locations on Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, and the county’s first dispensary could open as early as August. Modern...
Lawyer who backed medical pot amendment sues Florida over smoking ban

Lawyer who backed medical pot amendment sues Florida over smoking ban

Saying Floridians knew what they were voting on in November, Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan on Thursday followed through on threats to sue the state over a smoking ban included in a new law carrying out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. Morgan, who largely bankrolled the medical-marijuana ballot initiative, had repeatedly threatened to launch a legal challenge...
For patients seeking legal pot in Florida, process is a quick one

For patients seeking legal pot in Florida, process is a quick one

Floridians with severe illnesses are just a few weeks and a few hundred dollars away from buying weed through the state’s newly expanded medical marijuana program. “You could probably go see a doctor today, and within a couple weeks be purchasing marijuana,” said Ben Pollara, executive director of Florida for Care, the group pushing politicians to set patient-friendly rules. One...
Florida health officials move forward with medical marijuana plans

Florida health officials move forward with medical marijuana plans

Florida health officials have laid out a new process to implement the voter-approved constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana, as they attempt to meet deadlines included in the November ballot measure. The latest proposed rule came as the Department of Health awaits Gov. Rick Scott’s signature of a medical-marijuana bill adopted by lawmakers during a special session this...
After NFL career, former Dolphin Ricky Williams crusades for cannabis

After NFL career, former Dolphin Ricky Williams crusades for cannabis

Former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams said Sunday he still uses marijuana to deal with the wear and tear his body and brain endured during a football career that included 2,431 carries in the NFL and 1,011 rushes at the University of Texas. Williams made the comments at a South Florida conference for cannabis advocates. He and two other former professional football players called on the...
Republican stronghold The Villages gets medical marijuana dispensary

Republican stronghold The Villages gets medical marijuana dispensary

In the strange-bedfellows category, medical marijuana firm Trulieve said it will open a cannabis dispensary Tuesday in the Republican stronghold of The Villages. In the Reefer Madness era, conservatives despised pot. These days, they like it just fine: Fully 61.9 percent of voters in Sumter County (home of The Villages) said yes to Amendment 2 in November. Overall, weed won in a landslide thanks to...
Florida court: Medical marijuana investor information is public record

Florida court: Medical marijuana investor information is public record

Information about investors and partners in medical-marijuana businesses is not a trade secret and should be disclosed under Florida’s public-records law, an appeals court ruled Friday. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal rejected arguments by Surterra Florida LLC, Alpha Foliage Inc. and Redland Nursery Inc. that information identifying investors and partners — submitted...
Senate concedes on schools but chambers at odds on business incentives

Senate concedes on schools but chambers at odds on business incentives

The Florida Legislature moved Thursday toward a climatic conclusion of its special session as legislation on a variety of topics — education, medical marijuana, business and tourism incentives — was nudged in the direction of final passage. Breaking a logjam on the most hotly debated topic of the session, education funding, the Senate advanced legislation that would boost per-student K-12...
Medical marijuana added to special session, which heads off script

Medical marijuana added to special session, which heads off script

The first day of a special session in Tallahassee produced a tentative deal on medical marijuana, adding that issue to a legislative stew that was initially only to include funding for public education and for business and tourism incentives. Gov. Rick Scott, who called for the special session after vetoing the K-12 education appropriations bill and bills he said provided too little funding for business...
Editorial: Special session an insult to voters, good government

Editorial: Special session an insult to voters, good government

Well, at least the schoolkids look to get a little more money. That’s about the only bright spot to be gleaned from the rubber-stamp of a legislative special session that’s slated to begin today and end on Friday. Although the task is unfinished, Florida’s lawmakers aren’t scheduled to talk about medical marijuana. They aren’t rethinking their huge giveaways to the charter...
Medical marijuana left out of Florida Legislature’s special session

Medical marijuana left out of Florida Legislature’s special session

Next week’s special legislative session focused on funding for education and economic development won’t include medical marijuana, at least for now. House and Senate leaders remained hopeful that they could strike a deal on the framework for carrying out a voter-approved constitutional amendment that broadly legalizing medical marijuana. But if they don’t reach agreement before the...
Medical marijuana in Palm Beach County? Rules coming soon

Medical marijuana in Palm Beach County? Rules coming soon

Thinking legislators in Tallahassee would come up with some statewide guidelines on the sale of medical marijuana, Palm Beach County officials held off on writing their own ordinance. But this year’s session came and went, and no such statewide guideline emerged. So, the county is moving ahead on its own. “We are working on an ordinance,” county Zoning Director John MacGillis told...
PBC working on medical marijuana ordinance

PBC working on medical marijuana ordinance

(Getty Images) Thinking legislators in Tallahassee would come up with some statewide guidelines on the sale of medical marijuana, Palm Beach County officials held off on writing their own ordinance.
Editorial: Convene special session to set medical marijuana rules

Editorial: Convene special session to set medical marijuana rules

A commanding majority of Florida voters – 71.3 percent — said in no uncertain terms in November that they wanted access to medical marijuana to relieve a wide range of painful and debilitating conditions. Amendment 2 outperformed Donald Trump on the ballot by nearly 2 million votes. The measure carried in every one of Florida’s 67 counties, even the most conservative. In Palm Beach...
Negron seeks input from Senate on medical pot special session

Negron seeks input from Senate on medical pot special session

Amid growing demands for a special session on medical marijuana and harsh criticism of lawmakers’ failure to reach agreement on the issue, Senate President Joe Negron sent a memo to his members Thursday seeking input on the possibility of sealing a deal with the House. The Senate leader’s two-page memo doesn’t expressly call for a special session, but it’s the clearest indication...
Smokable medical pot sold in Florida, despite lawmakers’ objections

Smokable medical pot sold in Florida, despite lawmakers’ objections

Even while Florida lawmakers have insisted they do not want patients to smoke pot, one of the state’s seven licensed medical-marijuana vendors on Tuesday began selling whole-flower cannabis. Florida law bans patients from smoking the substance, but doesn’t prohibit vendors from selling marijuana buds meant for use in vaporizers — but which also can be smoked in joints, pipes or other...
Lawmakers fail to get medical pot bill; now up to health officials

Lawmakers fail to get medical pot bill; now up to health officials

Unable to bridge a gap over how many marijuana dispensaries the state should have, Florida lawmakers Friday failed to pass legislation that would have created a framework to carry out a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for wide variety of patients. Implementation of the voter-approved amendment now rests in the hands of state health officials, who have been harshly criticized...
Florida House, Senate down to wire on medical marijuana

Florida House, Senate down to wire on medical marijuana

With just one day left to pass a bill, House and Senate Republican leaders are still struggling to strike a deal on the rollout of a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions. The leaders have reached agreement on a variety of issues — including the number of medical marijuana operators in the state — but remain divided on a...
NEW: Florida House approves medical marijuana bill

NEW: Florida House approves medical marijuana bill

Florida would have more than a dozen pot operators — with unlimited retail locations — under a proposal overwhelmingly approved by the state House on Tuesday. The latest version of the House bill brings the House and Senate closer to finalizing a medical marijuana measure before Friday’s scheduled end of the legislative session. Lawmakers are attempting to reach consensus on a plan...
Florida House, Senate moving closer on medical marijuana plan

Florida House, Senate moving closer on medical marijuana plan

Eligible patients would not have to wait 90 days to get medical marijuana if doctors recommend the treatment, under a compromise measure ready for a House vote just days before next Friday’s end of the annual legislative session. The measure, proposed by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, brings the House closer in line with the Senate’s approach to carrying out a November constitutional...
Bill to implement medical marijuana amendment moves to Senate

Bill to implement medical marijuana amendment moves to Senate

Florida patients wouldn’t have to wait 90 days to purchase marijuana if doctors recommend the treatment, under a proposal on its way to the Senate floor for a vote. The possibility of a 90-day requirement remains one of the biggest patient-focused differences between House and Senate measures crafted to carry out a constitutional amendment that voters approved in November to legalize marijuana...
Florida medical marijuana compromise likely won’t allow smoking

Florida medical marijuana compromise likely won’t allow smoking

Florida patients may be able to vape or munch on medical-marijuana products but they almost certainly won’t be allowed to light up joints or take bong hits, under a compromise being worked on by House and Senate leaders. Lawmakers are trying to reach consensus on a proposal to carry out a constitutional amendment, overwhelmingly approved by more than 70 percent of voters last fall, that legalized...
Florida House offers enactment plan that limits medical marijuana use

Florida House offers enactment plan that limits medical marijuana use

Pledging that it is only a start, a Florida House panel gave a thumbs-up Tuesday to a medical-marijuana proposal castigated by supporters of a constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis for a broad swath of patients with debilitating conditions. The House Health Quality Subcommittee overwhelmingly approved the measure (HB 1397), sponsored by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, with just one...
Florida Senate aims to add grower licenses under its medical pot plan

Florida Senate aims to add grower licenses under its medical pot plan

More growers, access to treatment for snowbirds and greater flexibility in the relationship between patients and doctors are among the items likely to be included in a Senate proposal to carry out a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November to broadly legalize medical marijuana. The Senate Health Policy Committee held a workshop Wednesday on the implementation of Amendment 2, which garnered...
Boynton Beach delays ban on medical marijuana dispensaries

Boynton Beach delays ban on medical marijuana dispensaries

Despite a heavy push from Mayor Steven Grant to temporarily ban medical marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers, the Boynton Beach commission Monday decided not to do so, and instead will discuss at their next meeting potential rules governing where these businesses will be allowed to open. Grant said the temporary ban would give the city time to see what the “unknown” is once state...
Advocates want medical marijuana in Florida, but not like California

Advocates want medical marijuana in Florida, but not like California

Brightly lit and bustling, Harborside Health Center serves as something of a model for the medical marijuana industry — even as California’s freewheeling approach to cannabis is seen as an example of how not to do things. As dozens of customers at Harborside pick their products, chatty budtenders talk knowledgeably about the selection, which includes cannabis for smoking, eating and...
Board OKs manure recycling facility, medical-pot-dispensary moratorium

Board OKs manure recycling facility, medical-pot-dispensary moratorium

It could take as long as a year before Palm Beach County begins accepting zoning applications for medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries now that commissioners have approved a moratorium. Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the moratorium during a zoning hearing Thursday, when they also backed a land use change that would allow a horse manure recycling facility to open between...
Editorial: Regulations on medical marijuana must make access easy

Editorial: Regulations on medical marijuana must make access easy

Medical marijuana is now legal in Florida for a number of debilitating ailments such as HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder and Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s in the state Constitution, thanks to Amendment 2, swept in by 71 percent of voters in November. But the law, enacted on Jan. 3, has barely gone into effect. Under the amendment’s terms, the Florida Legislature is supposed...
Counties, voters eager for lawmakers’ medical pot implementation rules

Counties, voters eager for lawmakers’ medical pot implementation rules

A pair of medical marijuana bills filed in the Florida Senate would regulate everything from how much it would cost to get a license to grow and sell marijuana to who can prescribe and acquire it. Meanwhile, counties across the state — including Palm Beach County — are waiting for the state to act before deciding what additional restrictions they will impose on the cultivation, sale and...

POINT OF VIEW Put constituents first; don’t delay medical marijuana

Palm Beach County commissioners (and similar leaders in local municipalities) should not place a moratorium on medical marijuana. Seventy-one percent of Florida voters approved not an ordinance nor law but a constitutional amendment allowing for the establishment of dispensaries and legalization of this medicine. Those who qualify have waited too long. Now you plan to extend their suffering by as...
What is PBC’s new plan for pot dispensaries?

What is PBC’s new plan for pot dispensaries?

Palm Beach County is poised to enact a one-year moratorium on zoning applications for medical marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers in unincorporated parts of the county. Commissioners voted 6-0 Thursday in favor of giving final consideration to a moratorium during a meeting on February 23.
Pot, the president’s plane and development projects on PBC agenda

Pot, the president’s plane and development projects on PBC agenda

Several hot-topic items are on Palm Beach County’s to-do list this week, including discussions about how to deal with Air Force One flights into Palm Beach International Airport, a new zoning framework for western portions of the county and whether to move forward with a one-year moratorium on zoning applications for medical marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers.
Palm Beach County considers moratorium on medical marijuana centers

Palm Beach County considers moratorium on medical marijuana centers

Voters in Palm Beach County and across the state overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment allowing the use of medical marijuana, but the county is considering a one-year moratorium on dispensaries and treatment centers in its unincorporated areas. Commissioners last week voted unanimously in favor of holding a public hearing Jan. 26 to give interested parties a chance to sound off on the...
North Palm to join other PBC cities with medical pot moratoriums

North Palm to join other PBC cities with medical pot moratoriums

Local officials who want to comply with Florida voters’ wishes to allow medical marijuana are at the mercy of the state to make up regulations in the first six months of 2017. Wary of allowing dispensaries before the regulations take effect, several Palm Beach County governments have imposed temporary bans or are considering them. Boca Raton and Delray Beach passed year-long moratoriums a few...
Best of Our Blogs: Rural weed vote; Trump impact on holiday sales

Best of Our Blogs: Rural weed vote; Trump impact on holiday sales

They say politics makes strange bedfellows, and here’s a peculiar pairing: Donald Trump and medical marijuana. After narrowly losing two years ago, Florida’s Amendment 2 won approval Tuesday in a landslide. Not too surprisingly, the weed measure won three-quarters of the vote in such lefty counties as Alachua, Broward and Palm Beach. But the real surprise came in the red, rural counties...
Cerabino: Marijuana vote making me see dogs and parking spots

Cerabino: Marijuana vote making me see dogs and parking spots

When I look at the Florida ballot amendment that would allow doctors to recommend marijuana for some of their patients, I can’t help but think about emotional support animals and disabled parking permits. I know some people would really benefit from medical marijuana, starting with my 85-year-old mother who seriously would be better off if she traded in Judge Judy and half of her prescriptions...
Medical pot proponents “hopeful” that Broward ballot glitch is isolated

Medical pot proponents “hopeful” that Broward ballot glitch is isolated

Amendment 2 proponents say a potentially devastating misprint that left the medical marijuana measure off mail-in ballots in Broward County appears to have affected only a handful of voters. Ben Pollara, campaign director for the pro-pot push, spent 40 minutes in the Broward Supervisor of Elections office as workers began opening envelopes, verifying signatures and recording thousands of mail-in ballots...
Before Amendment 2, legal cannabis industry already budding in Florida

Before Amendment 2, legal cannabis industry already budding in Florida

With his raspy voice, long ponytail and friendly demeanor, George Douthitt is the guy you might get if you called central casting and ordered up a vintage pothead. True to form, the 63-year-old eagerly accepted a delivery from his weed guy one recent morning, forking over $50 for a small package of marijuana. This drug deal, however, quickly veered off script. The buy was completely aboveboard &mdash...

Editorial: Vote No on solar-power amendment, Yes on medical marijuana

Four measures on the Nov. 8 ballot would amend the Florida Constitution. We’d like to address two of them. One concerns solar energy and should be rejected. The second is about medical marijuana and deserves your support. •   Amendment 1 is a con. And you, the voter, are the intended mark. Titled, “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy,” it looks for all...
Second try for Florida medical pot amendment pits fans, foes

Second try for Florida medical pot amendment pits fans, foes

Retired police Detective Martin Sloma endures excruciating pain, the legacy of being struck by a car while he was on duty decades ago in New Jersey. Sloma, who lives in Jensen Beach and calls himself “an orthopedic nightmare,” said prescription painkillers provide little relief from his misery. The best medicine, he finds, comes in the form of marijuana, which he must obtain illegally...
Florida doctors have mixed opinions about medical marijuana

Florida doctors have mixed opinions about medical marijuana

As Florida voters weigh their decision to create a state-regulated medical marijuana industry, an obvious question emerges: Where do doctors stand on pot? The answer is complicated. The medical establishment dismisses weed as scientifically untested, but some individual doctors are breaking ranks to back Amendment 2, the ballot question that will be decided Nov. 8. The 20,000-member Florida Medical...
Advocates want medical marijuana in Florida, but not like California

Advocates want medical marijuana in Florida, but not like California

Brightly lit and bustling, Harborside Health Center serves as something of a model for the medical marijuana industry — even as California’s freewheeling approach to cannabis is seen as an example of how not to do things. As dozens of customers at Harborside pick their products, chatty budtenders talk knowledgeably about the selection, which includes cannabis for smoking, eating and vaporizing...

POINT OF VIEW Who dreams up these ways to alienate the youth vote?

I just read “U.S. affirms prohibition on medical marijuana” in Friday’s Palm Beach Post. Does the Democratic Party have some secret committee in Washington that sits around and tries to think up how many ways they can find to alienate the youth vote? And by “youth” in this case, I mean from baby boomers all the way down the voting age ladder. That’s a big block...
New pot law won’t help losing nursery get license

New pot law won’t help losing nursery get license

A new law won’t help a nursery whose score was a fraction of a percent less than the winner of a highly sought-after medical marijuana license in Central Florida, an administrative law judge ruled Friday. McCrory’s Sunny Hill Nursery — which joined forces with three other growers and purchased a 180,000-square-foot facility in Lake Wales with the hopes of receiving a license &mdash...
Marijuana business could be as big as medicinal benefit, advocates say

Marijuana business could be as big as medicinal benefit, advocates say

Entrepreneurs in the budding cannabis industry are salivating at the prospect that Florida might legalize medical marijuana. Pot proponents say hundreds of thousands of Floridians with cancer and other ailments would benefit from medical marijuana — and they see the potential for a billion-dollar industry that could create thousands of jobs and generate millions in tax revenue. “I look...
Which state smokes the most legal weed?

Which state smokes the most legal weed?

Product at a weed dispensary in Boulder. (Photo by Jeff Ostrowski/The Palm Beach Post) No surprise here: Colorado boasts the nation’s most robust medical marijuana program.
Medical marijuana proponent says legalization amendment will succeed

Medical marijuana proponent says legalization amendment will succeed

John Morgan, the deep-pocketed attorney bankrolling the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, predicts November’s election will produce the victory that eluded him two years ago. Morgan spent more than $4 million on Amendment 2, the measure that won support from 57.6 percent of voters in November 2014. It needed 60 percent to pass. “I didn’t really realize how hard 60...
Medical marijuana approval ready for approval by Florida lawmakers

Medical marijuana approval ready for approval by Florida lawmakers

Lawmakers are poised to approve legalizing full-strength marijuana for terminally ill patients after supporters fought off attempts in the Senate to expand the proposal Friday. The measure would make full-strength marijuana legal for the first time in Florida by adding cannabis to the list of experimental drugs available to patients diagnosed with illnesses that could result in death within a year...

Florida House backs marijuana for terminally ill patients

Nearly two years after passing a law to allow limited types of medical marijuana, the Florida House on Thursday approved a more far-reaching plan that would let terminally ill patients have access to full-strength pot. The plan (HB 307 and HB 1313) also would revamp the 2014 law, which has been bogged down in legal challenges over the selection of nurseries to get potentially lucrative contracts....
Stockbroker who smokes pot for relief from tumors: Legalize it for all

Stockbroker who smokes pot for relief from tumors: Legalize it for all

Irvin Rosenfeld believes the latest attempt to legalize medical marijuana in Florida will pass. But he doesn’t believe it does enough. He wants everyone to be able to grow their own pot. Not for partying. For medicine. The Boca Raton stockbroker knows all about it. He turns 63 on Friday. For a third of his life, he’s smoked up to 10 joints a day for which he doesn’t pay. Your taxes...

Open-carry gun bill may not get Florida Senate hearing

Senate Judiciary Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla may not bring up a controversial open-carry gun measure in his committee during this year’s legislative session. The move would effectively stop the proposal (SB 300), which is backed by Second Amendment groups, including the National Rifle Association. Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, told reporters on Monday that he has grown uneasy with the...
Editorial: As government drags feet, voters move on medical marijuana

Editorial: As government drags feet, voters move on medical marijuana

After utterly failing to bring relief even to children with severe epilepsy through a non-narcotic form of marijuana, Florida officials fully deserve the wrath of voters who are on the way to taking matters into their own hands — with a constitutional amendment that would make marijuana available for a wide range of debilitating medical conditions. The medical marijuana amendment has gained...
Gambling bill in the works that would affect PBKC

Gambling bill in the works that would affect PBKC

Florida House and Senate leaders will roll out gambling bills Friday that would allow the Seminole Tribe to add craps and roulette at its casinos, potentially do away with dog racing and most horse racing and open the door for slot machines in Palm Beach County. Late Thursday, Senate Regulated Industries Chairman Rob Bradley and his House counterpart, Regulatory Affairs Chairman Jose Felix Diaz, were...
Wellington teen’s death could result in driving-while-high law

Wellington teen’s death could result in driving-while-high law

Naomi Pomerance dreamed of becoming a nurse. A veterinarian and a psychiatrist, too. “Naomi could have done anything she wanted to,” said Cassy Pomerance, Naomi’s mother. “But if she had become a young woman, I know she would have done something to help people.” The 16-year-old Wellington girl never got that opportunity. Naomi was killed March 28 after the motor scooter...
Editorial: Last chance for state lawmakers to step up on medical pot

Editorial: Last chance for state lawmakers to step up on medical pot

Just when it seemed Florida might finally be getting off the state’s dizzying medical marijuana merry-go-round, new variables promise further delay of the legal, non-euphoric marijuana the Legislature promised two years ago. The 2016 session just became legislators’ last chance to deliver compassion for children with intractable epilepsy, and people with advanced cancer and similar debilitating...
Florida Supreme Court OKs medical pot language for 2016 ballot

Florida Supreme Court OKs medical pot language for 2016 ballot

The Florida Supreme Court approved a medical marijuana measure Thursday for next year’s presidential ballot, a key step for giving voters their second chance in two years to decide whether to broaden legal access to medical marijuana in the state. Justices ruled the proposal meets the state’s “single subject rule” for citizen-backed constitutional amendments. The ballot title...

Florida finally picks five nurseries to grow, sell its medical pot

Florida’s long-delayed effort to make medical marijuana available to certain types of patients took a step forward Monday with the state’s selection of five large plant nurseries to start growing, processing and distributing the non-euphoric oil. The state’s Department of Health chose the five regional winners from a list of 28 nurseries that had applied in July for licenses to provide...

Florida lawmakers advance bills to let terminally ill use marijuana

Terminally ill Floridians could use marijuana to ease the pain and discomfort of their illnesses, under proposals approved Tuesday by state House and Senate panels. With legislators voicing frustration over delays in the state’s implementation of a law, signed last year by Gov. Rick Scott, allowing the production, sale and use of non-euphoric marijuana oil dubbed Charlotte’s Web, bill...

Florida medical pot law misses deadline, nearly a year behind schedule

Almost a year-and-a-half since Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers legalized a form of medical marijuana, the latest deadline for making it available to Floridians has gone up in smoke. Again. “I have gotten so very angry,” said Ava Pence, a Palm Beach Gardens teacher whose 9-year-old daughter, Meredith, suffers from Dravet syndrome, a severe epilepsy. “It just feels like it&rsquo...
Editorial: State health officials in a daze over medical marijuana

Editorial: State health officials in a daze over medical marijuana

No news was bad news again Tuesday when the latest update on Florida’s 2014 law delivering medical marijuana delivered only the latest delay. That’s hardly the relief expected — or promised — for children with severe epilepsy, given that implementation was supposed to have started a year ago. The stereotypical image of the smoke-filled room may be as unfair for politicians...
Medical marijuana’s slow roll-out in Florida sparks new buzz

Medical marijuana’s slow roll-out in Florida sparks new buzz

With medical marijuana still not available in Florida almost two years after it was approved, lawmakers behind that measure said Wednesday they have another idea for getting pot to those seeking it as a last-ditch treatment. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fernandina Beach, unveiled new legislation that would add marijuana to the products that could be used by terminally...
Cloudy medical marijuana timeline leads to frustration in Florida

Cloudy medical marijuana timeline leads to frustration in Florida

With the Department of Health unable to say when licenses will be issued in the state’s new medical-marijuana industry, a House Republican on Tuesday blasted delays in carrying out a 2014 law billed as helping children with severe epilepsy. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, said “there’s a lot of frustration” among lawmakers who voted to approve allowing non-euphoric types of medical...
Pot in Palm Beach County: Could marijuana be decriminalized?

Pot in Palm Beach County: Could marijuana be decriminalized?

Palm Beach County is considering making possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil infraction — the equivalent of a traffic ticket — rather than a criminal offense. But a number of issues “need to be worked out in order for this approach to receive broad-based support or at least acceptance from law enforcement and the criminal justice system stakeholders,” Assistant...
Ruling clears way for use of medical marijuana in Florida this year

Ruling clears way for use of medical marijuana in Florida this year

A form of medical marijuana could be available in Florida by the end of this year, state health officials said Wednesday, following a judge’s dismissal of a final challenge to rules governing the product. Florida Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins threw out an Apopka nursery’s challenge Wednesday and ruled that state rules implementing the medical marijuana law amounted to a &ldquo...
Make weed as easy to buy as aspirin, proponents say

Make weed as easy to buy as aspirin, proponents say

Pro-pot activists and physicians offer a simple prescription for cannabis: Make it an easy-to-buy, over-the-counter drug. “Marijuana should be available like aspirin,” weed activist Jon Gettman said Friday during an event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. “It is safe, it is effective. Cannabis needs to be cheap and widely available.” Gettman, a professor of criminal...
Editorial: Legislative inaction means do over in 2016 for medical pot

Editorial: Legislative inaction means do over in 2016 for medical pot

During the just-ended session, Florida legislators had an opportunity to add some legal and regulatory sanity to the medical marijuana movement. But they blew it — again. Rather than tweak last year’s law so that thousands of Floridians living with debilitating illnesses could have access to limited-use low-THC cannabis oil (CS/SB 7066), for example, legislators fumbled, stumbled, and...

Hearing begins on challenge of Florida medical marijuana law 

The fight over the state’s attempt to get a non-euphoric pot industry off the ground continued Thursday during a day-long hearing in a challenge filed by a Florida nurseryman who complains that health officials’ proposed regulations are unfair and vague. The hearing over the rule challenge, filed by Baywood Nurseries of Apopka, comes as legislators said this week they have abandoned an...

Revise of Florida medical marijuana law looks dead for this year

Florida lawmakers appeared ready Wednesday to drop any effort to revise a medical marijuana measure that was approved last year but is still entangled in legal challenges preventing it from going into effect. “It would appear they have not been able to come together to some agreement,” said Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando. “It’s probably not going to happen.&rdquo...
Medical pot for dogs? Lobbyist trying to add it to Florida bill

Medical pot for dogs? Lobbyist trying to add it to Florida bill

Dinah will never be able to smoke pot — even if Florida lawmakers legalize medical marijuana to relieve her epilepsy. But Dinah, a 3-year-old, mixed-lab mutt, might be helped by a drug like Charlotte’s Web, a low-THC cannabis oil that Florida lawmakers approved last year to treat seizure disorders in humans, especially children. Now, an amendment expected to be filed to an omnibus medical...

Bill to update Florida medical pot law may increase THC levels

The leader of the Senate’s move to jump-start Florida’s medical marijuana industry has agreed to increase the level of euphoria-inducing THC in the limited types of pot allowed under a nearly year-old law. Senate Regulated Industries Chairman Rob Bradley also has signed off on a change to make room for nurseries that don’t meet current criteria in the law, which restricts &ldquo...

Florida considers first black-bear hunting season in two decades

Florida is considering opening its first black-bear hunting season since 1994, under a set of rules that will be reviewed April 14 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Commission staff has proposed that about 275 black bears be killed in a season that would start Oct. 24 and continue for a week or less, depending on when the “harvest objective” is reached. The hunt...

Medical pot update clears Senate panel; some say it’s not enough

Florida’s effort to actually get a medical marijuana strain on the market, plus make it available to more people, cleared a Senate committee Tuesday even as a rising number of critics said it doesn’t go far enough. The nonintoxicating strain of marijuana oil approved last year by lawmakers is still not on the market, with state regulations for the so-called Charlotte’s Web product...
Revised medical marijuana bill moves forward in Florida Senate

Revised medical marijuana bill moves forward in Florida Senate

Florida’s long-delayed effort to make a strain of medical marijuana available to patients could be advanced under a measure approved Tuesday by a state Senate panel. Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, HIV and multiple sclerosis were among those added to the list of eligible users of a marijuana derivative dubbed Charlotte’s Web by the Regulated Industries Committee...
Hemp measure ‘not a marijuana bill,’ but pushes budding new industry

Hemp measure ‘not a marijuana bill,’ but pushes budding new industry

Marijuana may have its critics but hemp, pot’s first cousin, got a unanimous go-ahead Monday from a state Senate committee amid promises that it could prove a budding new industry for Florida growers. Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, who has sponsored medical marijuana bills that went nowhere with fellow lawmakers, is promoting the industrial hemp proposal. He said Florida could be a forerunner...
Florida Senate reconsiders, may widen last year’s medical pot law

Florida Senate reconsiders, may widen last year’s medical pot law

Frustrated by delays, legislators are ready to create a regulatory framework for the state’s medical-marijuana industry and consider broadening a law approved last year. Senate Regulated Industries Chairman Rob Bradley told The News Service of Florida on Thursday he expects to consider a measure next week that would set up a structure for nurseries to grow, process and distribute non-euphoric...

Florida’s new medical pot rule faces new legal challenge

The Florida Department of Health faces a new legal challenge in its latest attempt to move forward with regulations for the state’s new medical-marijuana industry. Jacksonville attorney Ian Christensen this week filed the challenge in the state Division of Administrative Hearings to the department’s proposed rule for carrying out a 2014 law that would make available a type of medical marijuana...

Commentary: Fixes that can make Florida’s medical marijuana law work

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli is right: No one has really made the case to him or anyone that the statutory language of SB 1030, legalizing low-THC medical marijuana, is flawed; but it absolutely is and must be fixed legislatively. I’m willing to accept partial blame here. The conversations surrounding 1030 have largely been driven by two groups of political actors: advocates like me...

Growers, parents, docs all unhappy with rolling out of medical pot law

Growers of marijuana and parents of disabled children who want the drug on the market as soon as possible expressed frustration Monday with Florida’s proposed rule for regulating the business side of growing and selling a drug that remains mostly illegal. More than a dozen speakers — many growers hoping to become one of five selected to provide the drug — picked apart the Department...

As pot becomes legal in Alaska, senator makes case for it in Florida

As Alaska becomes the third state in the nation to legalize marijuana for personal use, a Florida Democratic senator has filed a bill that would also make it legal in the Sunshine State. Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, acknowledges the bill has no chance of passing this year, just as an idential version didn’t died without a committee hearing last year. But he said he hopes he’s laying...
Florida to meet yet again on rule implementing 2014 medical pot law

Florida to meet yet again on rule implementing 2014 medical pot law

The Florida Department of Health will hold another hearing to clear up confusion about a proposed medical marijuana rule published after a marathon meeting earlier this month. The department’s Office of Compassionate Use released the latest proposal after a hand-picked panel spent 25 hours over two days hashing out the plan during a rare “negotiated rule” workshop on Feb. 4 and 5...
Lawmakers would pick applicable diseases under latest medical pot bill

Lawmakers would pick applicable diseases under latest medical pot bill

A House bill filed Tuesday would expand the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, but still limit its use far more than would have been allowed under a proposed constitutional amendment that fell short of a necessary 60 percent of the vote in November. Under the bill, HB 863, filed by Rep. Greg Stuebe, R-Sarasota, the Legislature would decide what diseases and ailments are appropriate for...

Commentary: Pot legalization may bring millennial vote for GOP in 2016

Despite the stereotypical image of the stoner who is so lacking in motivation he can’t get off the couch, a look at recent elections shows that marijuana actually does motivate people — to vote. And the phenomenon is most profound among millennials, as illustrated in the presidential swing state of Florida in November. Those who want to see a Republican in the White House should take note...
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