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State Approves $13.2 Million for Medical Marijuana

July 19th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
Unhappy with the progress of the state Office of Medical Marijuana Use, state lawmakers agreed to spend an additional $13.2 million to cover unforeseen costs of implementing medical marijuana in the state.
More than half of the money will go towards processing applications for four new growers licenses.
Some questioned why the department didn’t anticipate the need earlier.
Representative  Janet Cruz attending by phone said it was on purpose.
“A blend of intentional ineptitude and simple sabotage,” said Cruz.
Some grudgingly approved the request, hoping the money would get the ball rolling.
“I want to see these dollars spent and I want to see this law put into effect,” said State Senator Rob Bradley.
Top brass at the Department of Health had their pay withheld beginning in July because they hadn’t issued four of ten new growers licenses that were supposed to be completed last Fall.
Three of those still haven’t been issued.
Lawmakers say they stand by their decision.
“I think that the department is moving at a quicker pace then perhaps they have in the past. We just want this done,” said Bradley.
While officials push to expand new licenses, roughly half of the current growers could be temporarily shut down.
They have to pass a health inspection for edibles, which they currently can’t produce or sell.
“It was in the law. So to their credit they’re complying with the law. I think these MMTC’s that are trying to get up and operational, you know it’s a complicated business and some of them missed it,” said Jeff Sharkey with the Medical Marijuana Business Association.
The rest of the $13.2 million will go towards implementing a universal tracking system for medical marijuana products and pay for the numerous lawsuits brought against the department.
With all the delays in implementing medical marijuana support for recreational use continues to grow.
Numerous polls suggest more than half of Florida voters would support full legalization.

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