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DOH Still Holding Out on New Grow Licenses

June 18th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
The State Department of Health continues to delay the issuance of four new medical marijuana growers licenses required by law when the number of patients hits 100,000.
Every Friday, the Department of Health releases an update on medical marijuana statistics.
Two numbers updated each week are the number of patients in the registry and the number of approved ID Card applications.
On Friday the number of cards issued broke 100,000, which many believed meant four new growers licenses would become available.
“I think there’s a lot of folks out there, patients included who are waiting for that threshold trigger to happen so that we can have more competition, more product in the marketplace,” said Jeff Sharkey with the Medical Marijuana Business Association.
However, the Department says the number includes card renewals and says some previous card holding patients may no longer be active, arguing the threshold for new licenses has not been reached.
This is the second time there’s been confusion over the new licenses.
In April the number of patients in the registry broke 100,000, but the department said, not all of the patients had cards so it didn’t count.
Four out of five Democratic candidates for Governor have criticized the department for it’s job of rolling out medical marijuana in the state.
“We need to fully implement medical marijuana and get that available for the people of Florida,” Candidate Gwen Graham said in an interview Friday.
Advocates say the lack of competition in the market place is hurting patients.
“We need to expand the number of medicine makers so that our patients have easier access,” said Josephine Cannella-Krehl with Cannabis Therapeutics.
Advocates are calling on the Department of Health to start including the true number of patients in its weekly report so everyone can be on the same page and prepared for when the new licenses do in fact become available.
The Department of Health issued this statement regarding the new licenses, “The department fully expects that, once we have the ability to accept new MMTC license applications, that four new licenses will be available.”

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