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DOH schedules second workshop on medical pot rules


The second workshop on the state's proposed rule to implement new medical marijuana laws will be held Aug. 1.

The rule carries out Senate Bill 1030, the so-called "Charlotte's Web" bill, passed by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Scott this spring. A second draft addressing issues raised at the first standing-room only workshop will be publicized by the end of the week.

The law the Legislature approved authorizes five nurseries in Florida to cultivate and distribute marijuana for a limited number of ailments and medical issues. The Department of Health has proposed a lottery system in each region to give all eligible participants -- including at least 41 growers that have operated consistently for 30 years -- equal opportunity to win.

Critics at the first rule hearing said a lottery would ignore the quality of services and experiences offered by various nurseries and urged the DOH to rethink that portion of the rule.

Florida became the 22nd state to legalize a form of marijuana for medical purposes and the 11th to authorize strains low in TCH, the chemical that causes a feeling of getting high. However, in November Florida voters will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment that would expand the use of medical marijuana for more general illnesses.

Click here to visit the DOH's Office of Compassionate Use site that outlines the process of implementing SB 1030.