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Medical cannabis bill includes special carve-out for Florida growers -- but who?

In the flurry of amendments on the bill to legalize a limited strain of medical marijuana, the House approved a provision sought by Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres, which would require that the only nurseries that could grow this strain of marijuana would be those who have been operating on Florida for 30 years or more. 

Caldwell, a real estate appraiser who touts the fact that he is a seventh-generation Floridian, inserted the amendment into the bill without debate, explanation or discussion. Caldwell told the Herald/Times he believes there are about 35 growers in Florida who could compete for the five dispensaries that would be allowed to handle the medical pot. (We've asked the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for more information on this list.)

But the amendment does appear to be an attempt to exclude out-of-state growers, such as the Stanley Brothers who have developed the low-THC strain of marijuana that was discovered by a mother of a child with intractable epilepsy.

The strain was given the name "Charlotte's Web" after Charlotte Figi, the seven-year-old child whose seizures have gone from hundreds a day to only a few a week after she started taking an extract placed under her tongue.

The House passed a bill authorizing a similar strain to be developed in Florida by a vote of 111-7 Thursday. The measure now heads to the Senate. 

According to Caldwell's amendment, growers "must possess a valid certificate of registration issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to s. 581.131 that is issued for the cultivation of more than 400,000 plants, be operated by a nurseryman as defined in s. 581.011, and have been operated as a registered nursery in this state for at least 30 continuous years."
The bill is expected to be accepted, unchanged, by the Senate on Friday, the last day of the legislative session, said Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, a chief sponsor of the bill.




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Chad Ingram

I'd live to know who qualifies. Seems silly and arbitrary to exclude some grower who set up 3 years ago.

ed jenkins

As the citizens have made known for decades they do not want these dangerous illegal drugs in their society which are harmful to youth and lead to worthless lives in adults. There should be no more time spent on this nonsense and unwanted legislation by our political leaders.


Why exclude the growers that developed and have the know how to produce this strain? That is like requiring RCA Victor to produce any Google glasses to be used in Florida.

Misinformed Bigot

You're right ed. I'm all for curing seizures, but not at the expense of an increased appetite and slight relaxation. They already have seizure medications. So what if the current ones dont work and can cause death? I dont have seizures, so the people that do aren't important. Of course, if I ever start to have seizures, then they should legalize marijuana. But only for me because all the sick people who need it now are just junkies looking to get a fix.


Great we need people who have never grown cannabis to do it for us.. IGNORANT.It is still a learning process, why not allow someone with experience to grow this "So important" medicine... The charlotte's web thing is absurd already, as there are many other strains with the SAME QUALITIES...!!!! IGNORANCE>>>>

Be Florida Centric, and watch the Medicine suffer. IGNORANCE>


Lets face it anyone can order high CBD stain seeds from all over the world for about $8 for one female seed and with some rooting hormone they could clone a plantation in a very short time. This is a plant that could be had for pennies a pound if profiteers would get out of the way. What worries me is the potential as to who will be allowed to profit when Amendment 2 passes.


Seems kinda strange that Florida officials are against marijuana. So citizens get together and petition the legalization of marijuana on the ballot this November. Now Legislators jump in before the elections and pass marijuana for children. The Governor say's all a long that he is against marijuana but see's his chance for a 2nd term as governor slipping away, jumps on the children for marijuana bandwagon and says he will pass into law. What about Novembers election? Why wasn't the people allowed to vote on children's marijuana? Fine example of "we know what's good for you".


It is time for people to seriously re-educate yourselves about medicinal cannabis! The science is real, folks. Please check out www.cannabistraininginstitute.com or www.safeaccessnow.org. It is not fair to make unsubstantiated claims with regard to the medicinal therapeutic benefits of cannabis without researching the FACTS! To simply quote the propaganda campaigns of yesteryear is ridiculous and irresponsible. Cannabis has been around for thousands of years; sorry to tell the naysayers, it will NEVER go away and we will NEVER stop fighting to have complete access to cannabis infloresence!

Captain Obvious

So... who else sees the good old boy cronyism here? It looks to me like some of the honorable Rep. Caldwell's relatives and/or friends are about to hit the jackpot. What a self-serving a-hole.


There are 22 entities that qualify. Regards. Medicalmarijuanabusinesslawyers.com


I agree ......the people of Florida have spoken and have FINALLY achieved the goal of GETTING IT ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT! I will make a bet that we will see the largest voter turnout IN THE HISTORY OF FLORIDA come November and Medical Marijuana will pass. Unfortunately, it should be IMHO completely legalized for both medicinal AND recreational like Colorado and Washington States did and get it over with. Less people in jail and more $$$$ for the States (however knowing politicians and their good ole boy networks will put so much "PORK" in the Bill that it will be ridiculous in the end).

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