An administrative law judge on Friday ordered the Florida Department of Health to start over and map out a new plan for growing, processing and selling a form of medical marijuana, known as Charlotte's Web.
Judge W. David Watkins of the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, rejected the idea of a controversial lottery to pick the nurseries that would grow the plants, a decision that could impact when the marijuana oil will be available to patients.
Watkins stated in his order that after reviewing chemical and safety issues and testimony from growers, "I knew that the lottery became strictly a chance-based scenario and it wasn't merit-based or experience-based. And to me, I had to object to it."
The state legislature, in its last session, legalized Charlotte's Web, which is low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and high in CBD (cannabidiol) for patients with seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms and cancer. The "Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014," requires the health department to have rules in effect by Jan. 1, 2015.