Latest on medical marijuana

From gum to ganja: PBC billionaire backs medical marijuana firm

From gum to ganja: PBC billionaire backs medical marijuana firm

In another sign that medical marijuana is going mainstream, pot purveyor Surterra Wellness said this week that William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. took a significant stake in the company. Wrigley, a billionaire who lives near North Palm Beach and once ran his namesake candy company, led a $65 million investment in Surterra. He also joined the company’s board. As Americans increasingly allow...
State issues new medical pot license, gets ready for four more

State issues new medical pot license, gets ready for four more

Florida Department of Health officials took two major actions in the medical-marijuana sphere Friday, issuing a highly sought-after license to a Miami nursery that successfully challenged the state and laying out the process for four more licenses as the cannabis industry continues to blossom. In a blistering opinion last month, Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham recommended that health officials...

Want weed but lack cash? Pot payment app calls Florida its top market

When pot patient Karen Seeb Goldstein shops for cannabis, she uses CanPay, an app that offers a workaround for marijuana buyers who’d prefer not to pay cash for their weed. “I love it,” said Goldstein, who lives in Fort Lauderdale and runs the pro-cannabis group Regulate Florida. “I sometimes buy more than I plan to buy, and I don’t like to carry tons of cash.”...
Want weed but lack cash? Pot payment app calls Florida its top market

Want weed but lack cash? Pot payment app calls Florida its top market

When pot patient Karen Seeb Goldstein shops for cannabis, she uses CanPay, an app that offers a workaround for marijuana buyers who’d prefer not to pay cash for their weed. “I love it,” said Goldstein, who lives in Fort Lauderdale and is vice chairwoman the pro-cannabis group Regulate Florida. “I sometimes buy more than I plan to buy, and I don’t like to carry tons of...
The Florida GOP governor debate: 5 takeaways

The Florida GOP governor debate: 5 takeaways

Republican gubernatorial candidates Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis focused more on personal jabs than policy chasms Thursday night in their first face-to-face debate. NBC, CBS polls: Putnam tops DeSantis Here are five key takeaways: 1. The specter of President Donald Trump is yuge. DeSantis is banking on Trump’s endorsement. If he is going to close the gap — polls say Putnam has a double-digit...
Mystery solved? Why First Green Bank backed away from weed business

Mystery solved? Why First Green Bank backed away from weed business

Last summer, First Green Bank of Orlando made a splash when it announced it was collecting cash on behalf of most of Florida’s medical marijuana dispensaries. Then, a few months later, First Green quietly stopped handling pot shops’ cash. The reason for the about-face was a mystery -- until Seacoast Banking Corp. of Stuart announced late Monday that it would pay $133 million for First...
Legalizing marijuana divides Democrats, GOP candidates for governor

Legalizing marijuana divides Democrats, GOP candidates for governor

The four Democrats running for Florida governor all favor some degree of legalizing or decriminalizing recreational marijuana use — but the state’s most prominent pro-pot advocate is not impressed. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park businessman Chris King have made legalizing, regulating and taxing personal marijuana use part of their campaign platforms. Former Miami Beach...
Florida’s medical marijuana registry hits 100,000

Florida’s medical marijuana registry hits 100,000

In a sign that Floridians are embracing the state’s freshly minted medical marijuana program, the state’s official cannabis registry has topped 100,000 patients. The Florida Department of Health counted 100,576 patients as of Friday, and about 2,500 people join the list each week. “Hitting 100,000 patients in Florida really shows us that people are being helped by medical marijuana...
Hurricane Irma’s unlikely victim: Florida’s supply of CBD

Hurricane Irma’s unlikely victim: Florida’s supply of CBD

Hurricane Irma terrified Floridians and spurred a mass evacuation. It also exacted a toll on the state’s supply of cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-euphoric pot product that patients use to control seizures, migraines and inflammation. Curaleaf, one of seven pot producers in the state, grows cannabis in southwestern Miami-Dade County. The cultivation facility took just a glancing blow when...
Fast-expanding cannabis seller sues state, aims to open more pot shops

Fast-expanding cannabis seller sues state, aims to open more pot shops

Florida’s most ambitious seller of medical marijuana says the state is unfairly cramping its expansion plans by allowing it to open only 25 pot shops statewide. In a suit filed in Leon County against the Florida Department of Health, Trulieve said it should be allowed to open a total of 52 retail locations throughout the state. Related: Marijuana dispensaries scout for locations in Palm Beach...

Scott to meet with Parkland parents amid school-safety bill questions

Gov. Rick Scott will meet Friday with the families of victims of last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, raising expectations that he will sign into law a sweeping school-safety measure (SB 7026) that sparked veto requests from critics on both ends of the gun-control spectrum. The Florida Education Association on Thursday asked Scott to veto the measure, saying more...
Florida’s pot industry on track to hit $1 billion -- but when?

Florida’s pot industry on track to hit $1 billion -- but when?

Brian Booth of Boca Raton has struggled with seizures and weight loss since a car crash, and he says medical marijuana helps him manage his health where prescription drugs failed. Chalk up his testimonial as a marketing victory for pot proponents, who see the potential for Florida’s cannabis sector to blossom into a billion-dollar industry in the near future. There’s a catch, though: Booth...
Florida lawmakers blast state agency over medical marijuana rules

Florida lawmakers blast state agency over medical marijuana rules

A joint legislative oversight committee delivered a public shaming to Florida pot czar Christian Bax on Monday, repeatedly chiding the state health official and others as they sat silently while the panel shredded regulations intended to carry out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. In four separate unanimous votes, the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee objected...
Florida medical marijuana registry keeps growing, blazes past 70,000

Florida medical marijuana registry keeps growing, blazes past 70,000

A Florida pot producer sold to an out-of-state buyer this month for $48 million, a hefty price predicated on the promise that, someday, the Sunshine State’s medical marijuana business will generate $1 billion in annual sales. For the projections to prove prescient, half a million Floridians must sign up for the state’s cannabis registry and drop an average of $167 a month on oils and vapes...

Judge weighs Florida ban on smoking medical marijuana

After spending more than five years pleading with the Florida Legislature to legalize medical marijuana, Cathy Jordan and her husband, Bob, were back in Tallahassee on Thursday. But this time, the Bradenton couple appeared in a Leon County courtroom, asking a judge to overturn a state law that bans patients who qualify to use medical marijuana — like Cathy Jordan, who has suffered from Lou Gehrig&rsquo...
Marijuana dispensaries scout for locations in Palm Beach County

Marijuana dispensaries scout for locations in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County is home to just two marijuana dispensaries for now, but cannabis companies have signed deals for at least three more locations in the county. And perhaps two dozen pot shops could open for business in the county in the coming years. “There’s going to be a flurry of activity,” said commercial real estate broker Chris Fleming of Strategic Realty Services. Fleming...
CEO of new marijuana dispensary: Officials from school across the street are invited for a tour

CEO of new marijuana dispensary: Officials from school across the street are invited for a tour

The head of Palm Beach County’s newest marijuana dispensary says he has invited officials from the charter school across the street to tour his business. Lindsay Jones, chief executive of Curaleaf Florida, said he has yet to hear back from anyone at the Academy for Positive Learning. The head of the school has said she’s “furious” about a pot shop opening nearby...
Palm Beach County’s second pot shop opens today

Palm Beach County’s second pot shop opens today

Palm Beach County’s second medical marijuana dispensary begins selling cannabis to patients today. Curaleaf is set to open Monday at 1125 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, a location that’s just 12 blocks north of the county’s first pot shop, run by Knox Medical. Like Knox Medical’s retail location, Curaleaf’s store is sleek and modern. The head of the Academy for...
Florida pot grower sells for $48 million

Florida pot grower sells for $48 million

In another big-dollar deal for a Florida cannabis company, a publicly traded firm said Wednesday that it paid $48 million for a state-licensed pot producer. iAnthus Capital Holdings announced a deal for GrowHealthy Holdings of Lake Wales. The company said it plans to open a dispensary in Palm Beach County during the third quarter of 2018. iAnthus Chief Executive Hadley Ford said he expects Florida&rsquo...
NEW: Vote was close, but Wellington OKs medical marijuana dispensaries

NEW: Vote was close, but Wellington OKs medical marijuana dispensaries

Wellington has joined Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County as communities that will allow medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance passed on a 3-2 vote by Wellington’s council on Monday night — with Mayor Anne Gerwig and Councilman Michael Drahos dissenting — that changes the village’s pharmacy zoning to include medical marijuana dispensaries...
NEW: Wellington to make final decision on medical pot dispensaries

NEW: Wellington to make final decision on medical pot dispensaries

Wellington’s village council on Monday night will hold a second and final hearing on a proposed zoning change that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the village, with restrictions. Because state law requires local governments to treat medical pot dispensaries no differently than pharmacies, the new zoning rules would apply to both pharmacies and dispensaries. RELATED: Why Wellington...
Software firm that runs pot shop rewards programs raises $3 million

Software firm that runs pot shop rewards programs raises $3 million

As marijuana goes mainstream, a Boca Raton software company that runs customer loyalty programs for pot shops said this week that it has raised $3 million from investors. SpringBIG plans to use the proceeds to double the size of its 10-person staff and to woo new customers, Chief Executive Jeffrey Harris said in an interview Thursday. His company keeps track of cannabis dispensaries’ customers...
EXCLUSIVE: Bank of America said to delay marijuana ID cards

EXCLUSIVE: Bank of America said to delay marijuana ID cards

Want a medical marijuana ID card? After getting a doctor’s permission, you’ll need to mail a paper check to Tallahassee and wait about 30 days. State officials say that issuing tens of thousands of ID cards is being slowed in part by Bank of America’s refusal to touch online payments for medical marijuana cards. NEW: Palm Beach County’s first medical marijuana dispensary opens...
Palm Beach County’s first pot shop is open -- but what about the second?

Palm Beach County’s first pot shop is open -- but what about the second?

Palm Beach County’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Tuesday, when Knox Medical began selling cannabis from a former bank branch at 1 S. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth. What about the county’s second pot shop? Curaleaf, formerly known as Modern Health Concepts, says on its website that its location at 1125 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth is “coming soon.” Curaleaf...
Wellington’s initial OK for medical pot dispensaries has guidelines

Wellington’s initial OK for medical pot dispensaries has guidelines

Wellington’s council took a first step Tuesday night toward allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the village coincidentally as the first medical pot dispensary in the county opened in Lake Worth the same day. With state law requiring counties and municipalities regulate medical pot dispensaries no differently than pharmacies, the Wellington council voted 3-2 to alter the pharmacy zoning...
LOOK INSIDE: Palm Beach County’s first medical marijuana store opens

LOOK INSIDE: Palm Beach County’s first medical marijuana store opens

Palm Beach County’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Tuesday, and Steve Buchholz of Lake Worth was among the first customers. Buchholz, 57, said he suffers from chronic knee pain stemming from a high school football injury 40 years ago. NEW: Florida’s pot patient count tops 50,000 “Every step I take every day is painful,” Buchholz said as he waited for Knox Medical&rsquo...
Florida’s pot patient count tops 50,000, Palm Beach County’s first dispensary set to open

Florida’s pot patient count tops 50,000, Palm Beach County’s first dispensary set to open

More than 50,000 Floridians have registered for the state’s budding medical marijuana program, the Florida Department of Health says. As of Nov. 8, some 50,775 patients had visited a doctor and paid for a state medical card. That puts Florida’s cannabis program 10 percent of the way to the half a million people that pot proponents expected to ultimately sign up. Meanwhile, Palm Beach...
NEW: Here’s how Wellington could handle medical pot dispensaries

NEW: Here’s how Wellington could handle medical pot dispensaries

Wellington officials are considering a rule change that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the village if they meet the same requirements pharmacies face. To do that, the village council would need to pass tighter restrictions on pharmacies, something council members discussed at an agenda review workshop Oct. 23. RELATED: Lake Worth to be home to Palm Beach County’s first pot dispensaries...
Which Palm Beach County cities like weed? Which don’t? See our ranking

Which Palm Beach County cities like weed? Which don’t? See our ranking

Florida voters approved medical marijuana in a landslide in November. But now that some Palm Beach County cities are banning pot shops, cannabis supporters again are pointing to voters’ overwhelming support. Nearly 75 percent of Palm Beach County voters said yes to Amendment 2. Among the county’s more than three dozen municipalities, voters in little Mangonia Park proved the most...
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...
If he runs for governor, John Morgan would push pot legalization

If he runs for governor, John Morgan would push pot legalization

Fresh off a landslide win in his campaign to legalize medical marijuana, John Morgan is considering a run for governor in 2018. If he enters the race, the Orlando trial attorney said Wednesday during a speech to cannabis entrepreneurs, he’ll push for the next logical step in pot policy: Permission for any Florida adult to use weed. “If they write an obituary, they’re going to say...
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...
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