FL-Florida approves 5 nurseries to grow medical marijuana

TALLAHASSEE -- Five Florida nurseries, including two from Miami-Dade County, were selected Monday to cultivate and distribute the first legal marijuana in the state, opening the door to the sale of the non-euphoric strains to treat patients with seizure disorders and cancer by June of next year.

Costa Nursery Farms, of Miami, won the bid for the Southeast Region. Alpha Foliage of Homestead will grow it for the Southwest Region. Knox Nursery of Winter Garden, will grow it for the Central Region. Hackney Nursery Company of Tallahassee will grow it for the Northwest Region. Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua will be the grower for the Northeast Region.

The decision moves the state closer to implementing the 2014 law that allows for marijuana extracts that are low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabidiol, or CBD. The law was intended to treat patients with intractable epilepsy and people with advanced cancer. To qualify for the low-THC-based cannabis treatment, patients must obtain permission from a qualified doctor and be added to the Compassionate Use Registry.

Under the law, applicants had to have been in business in Florida for at least 30 years and grow a minimum of 400,000 plants at the time they applied.

Many of the five nurseries teamed with consultants, investors, security firms, technology companies and out-of-state pot growers to develop their application. Each was chosen from a pool of 28 applicants from around the state by a panel of three state reviewers, based on rules set by a panel that included five growers.  read full article

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