Fla. marijuana hearing raises new questions

Concerns raised at hearing about how state is proceeding


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The logistics of growing and dispensing non-euphoric marijuana moved one step closer to realty with what is supposed to be the final hearing by the state Friday, but implementing this springs legislation on time is far from certain.

The rules for picking growers and dispensing organizations for non-euphoric CBD marijuana are supposed to be in place this fall.

"You can't expect cancer patients to drive four hours to get medicine" said Warren Powell, of ?Florida Marijuana Patients.com.

Dozens of people raised concerns at the public hearing about how the state is proceeding.

"If you want to stick with a lottery, and I'm not a fan of that, you can not allow the system to be gamed," said Louis Rotundo, of the Florida Medical Cannabis Association.

But it was two mothers who continue to show up and said they want the state to get it right and get it right quickly.

"I'm here as a mother today, who daily struggles with a child with epilepsy," said Holly Mosley. "There as a patient, two weeks ago, who passed away from seizures."

Clouding the future is a 19-page letter from a legislative oversight committee, pointing out differences between the proposed rule and what the law actually says.

"I fell like after the JASPE letter, that it has become very problematic that this rule, in this form, can survive a legal challenge," said Rotundo.

A challenge would slow the rule down until voters decide a broader medical marijuana amendment And that's what many growers want, but not parents.

"There are children's lives at stake," said Mosley. "We don't have time to think big picture and think money, and all of that."

There have been two workshops and now a public hearing, yet there are as many unanswered questions as there have ever been.

The first low-THC marijuana isn't expected until late spring at the earliest.

The very narrowly written law calls for growers to be picked and licensed by the end of the year. Any challenge could delay the timetable, delaying CBD's availability.