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State Budget Follows Through on Threat to Hold DOH Officials’ Pay

March 9th, 2018 by Jake Stofan

Lawmakers have decided to withhold $1.9 million in salaries and benefits for top brass at the State Department of Health in the state budget until the department fully implements the sate’s medical marijuana law passed last year.

The Office of Medical Marijuana Use has yet to issue five new grow licenses, which were supposed to be finalized last October. The DOH blames pending lawsuits for the delay, but lawmakers aren’t satisfied with the excuse.

Some advocates like Jodi James with the Florida Cannabis Action Network say lawmakers set the Department up for failure.

 

“If the issue were as simple as someone not doing their job that might be an appropriate thing to do, but really the Legislature did not give them a job that could be done and deadlines that were reasonable,” said James. “We’ve been saying that what they really did is they created this herculean task, they wrapped it up in a Gordian knot.”

The Department of Health didn’t respond to our request for comment on this story.

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