Marijuana growing, dispensing rules taking shape


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The proposed rules for growing and dispensing low-grade marijuana are taking shape at the state Capitol.

Regulators held a second hearing Friday, and qualifying patients may soon be able to have the drug delivered.

"Many legal marijuana businesses around the country in different states find themselves now in a banking quagmire," said Doug Mannheimer, of Costa Farms.

The most compelling testimony came from two mothers spearheading the Charlotte's Web effort. Paige Figi told regulators the emphasis should be on quality.

"Quality is very important," Figi said. "To have access to the proper quality."

And Holly Mosley, whose daughter Ray Ann was the poster child for the low-grade THC drug in Florida, said her only goal is to get the drug available for her child and others as quickly as possible.

"I had an email just this morning from a mom begging me, 'Please help, I'm desperate. My daughter is in the ICU. How can I help get this here faster?'" Mosley said.

The earliest the drug will be available is spring, providing no one files a legal challenge.

Growers will still be chosen by a lottery, but only the most experienced will make it into the pool.

A grower who doesn't make the lottery or loses it could delay the availability. Sponsor Rep. Matt Gaetz said that would be unfortunate.

"I hope that no one is so sinister that they would litigate their own business interests above the needs of dying children," Gaetz said.

The final rule will allow just five growers and distributors, but the latest draft says that patients can request 30-day supplies be delivered from any of the five dispensaries.

The rule being developed also calls for inspections by the state and law enforcement. If the inspections find any irregularities such as the presence of heavy metals or mold, the entire batch would have to be destroyed.