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South Florida prepares for (legal) new cash crop: marijuana

Before the sun set over the rows of palms and ferns and hibiscus that Thursday, Chuck Buster had heard from a half dozen friends, all calling to tell him that his next venture could be in Florida’s medical marijuana business.

For more than three decades, the co-owner of Alpha Foliage has tilled the Homestead earth near the southern tip of Florida, raising tropical foliage season after season. But a rising drumbeat to bring medical marijuana to Florida, plus a Legislature that relented on the last day of the lawmaking session last spring have combined to create a potential new business boom for nursery owners such as Buster.

What he learned on that Thursday in May was that his nursery qualified as a potential pot growing location. So with 300 acres at his disposal and 30 years of experience in the foliage business, Buster suddenly found himself poised to enter the legal pot business.

He’s far from alone. Alpha Foliage is one of 50 veteran nurseries, including 12 based in South Miami-Dade County and one in Broward County, eligible to compete to become one of five regional growers. That has fueled a frenzy of callers — ganja-preneurs, investors, technology companies — looking to partner with an eligible nursery in what will become Florida’s newest legal crop, a limited, low-THC form of marijuana for medical purposes. It will be used for patients with seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms and cancer.

“I started getting all these inquiries as to whether I had any interest in partnering in a marijuana growing operation,” said Buster, as he surveyed the growing list of agricultural companies from the town of Havana in North Florida to Homestead, that met the criteria of operating for at least 30 years and having an inventory of 400,000 plants. “Everybody is trying to be a part of this.”

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized use of some medical marijuana. Florida became part of the group with the passage of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act this year.

Story here


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ed jenkins

The readers want this article on a most disturbing topic that makes light of dangerous illegal drug proliferation removed from their hometown paper that can be read by children and families.

The citizens want the DEA to pursue leads in this article to shutdown businesses of and criminally prosecute those mentioned as attempting to produce these dangerous illegal drugs which harm our children and lead to useless lives for adults.

Conservative Christian

It's time for all of us to start doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. None of us would want our kids put in jail to be gang-raped over a little marijuana. None of us would want the police to confiscate and sell our parents' home because they grew a couple of plants to help with their aches and pains. Let's start treating other people the way we would want to be treated.

Keith Stegath

I support the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana (1oz). I lived in Ann Arbor, Mich, during the 1970's at the start of the annual April 1st "Hash Bash".

I have no issues with growing it. I have no problem with smoking it in public - but those stopped for smoking it will receive a ticket ($10.00).

I'm also a candidate for Governor.


Today ending prohibition is a matter of patriotism and how anyone who supports prohibition can consider himself a Christian is beyond me.


ed jenkins is an obvious gov shill. what he says is gibberish trying to rile up the sheep


The fact that marijuana was ever criminalized in the first place is an embarrassment. Prohibition has been a disaster, enough is enough already.

Vote YES on 2

STOP terrorism against Medical Marijuana Patients.
STOP the attacks against Cancer Victims.
VOTE YES on 2 + VOTE YES on 2
God Bless You..!

Bill Thompson

The citizens want the DEA and the DOJ to arrest and prosecute the scumbag Scott and the leaders in the GOP controlled legislature for passing legislation legalizing drugs that are illegal in the USA. These most horrible people are enabling criminals to grow illegal crops and allowing our most vulnerable children to be harmed by these dangerous illegal drugs.

Bill Monroe

Mr. Ed Jenkins,

Freedom of the press is a wonderful thing and calling for a topic not to be discussed is outrageous. You mention prosecuting all those who deal in a very safe plant called cannabis. Does your request also involve the DEA arresting their parent organization the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that has a medicinal marijuana patent and is receiving license fees from Kannalife that is growing cannabis for cannabinoid based medicines? Bet you did not know the same government that says pot is bad is also in the business of medical marijuana. How do you explain the hypocrisy? I know...it's difficult sticking to the no pot line when confronted with facts. Also, you may want to stop by the National Cancer Institutes web site and search on cancer and cannabinoids. Tell me what you find. Have a beautiful day!


Concerned Citizen

Ed Jenkins...you need to go back to troll school...your post was not even close to being believable.


I’ve heard that there are people who abuse their own naughty parts! What kind of society would we have if that were legal?!? There would be people doing that when they’re driving! Their cars would be bouncing up and down like those hydraulic hot rods that are driven by our Country's unregistered guests! I don’t want to see people playing with their privates in public places either!

You wouldn't have a problem with a surgeon doing that while he's committing surgery? What about airplane pilots? Would you want your airplane pilot abusing his own naughty parts when he's supposed to be flying the plane?!? What would you think if you went to a political rally and found out that the politician's hand you shook was abusing his own naughty parts 5 minutes before that?!?

Haven't you seen the most recent research about the danger of abusing your own naughty parts? The studies have proved that it makes people go blind! I've known lots of blind people and every one of them abused their own naughty parts before they went blind! If we legalize that then we would have to let people marry their hands for crying out loud! Ooooh, I’m so excited! I asked for my hand in marriage today and it said yes! Where the heck does someone get a wedding dress for their hand? ’nuff said!


unfortunately we have to accept this because maybe it may diminish the stigma and put strict rules for use. it does have some benefits.


also god bless america freedom of speech power of the people. democracy does work but it is slow and understandably so. god bless remember it is available noe to youngsters, i wish we could prevent under age use i just don't see it . one really has nothing to do with the other. we handle the same way we would any intoxicating substance end of story. god bless ameica. we are free. it is good to be an america.


Due to my orthopaedic and neurological illness, I have been looking for Medical Marihuana. Some might say, why don't you grow your own? Well problem is, that my gardening skills are Zero and nothing grows. I don't have a "Green Thumb", so to speak.

Medical Marihuana does ease my health problems much better than common medicine from the doctors. And so I came across http://www.buyweedsonline.com

Some might be reluctant to believe, that Mail Order Marijuana works, but it does. I am glad to see, that sites, as yours, gives a lot of information for people same as me. Thank you all and stay healthy at all times.


Bill.. Thank you for providing an educated response to Mr. Jenkin's comments. Although the stigma if cannabis is virtually irrational, it still exists. The fact is, the marijuana plant provides a variety of medicinal uses and helps the those who are ill and in pain. Like anything, it should be properly used and in moderation but it definitely has it's place in present day medicine.

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