News Service of Florida

George Hodan (Public Domain Pictures)

The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday quickly asked an appeals court to review a decision that could clear the way for patients to smoke medical marijuana.

A decision last week to award Medicaid contracts to two additional managed-care plans could mean more legal challenges for the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

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A California-based company has bought a Florida medical marijuana operation for $53 million in the latest transaction in what investors hope will be among the nation’s most-lucrative medical pot markets.

A health care advocacy group was urging Floridians to contact the Trump administration before the end of the day Tuesday to express opposition to a state proposal that would save $98 million by making changes to how people qualify for Medicaid. 

A Tallahassee judge on Tuesday lifted a hold on her order finding that Florida patients should be allowed to smoke medical marijuana if their doctors approve it.

A Tampa-based orchid grower is challenging a rule proposed by state health officials, arguing the proposal fails to properly carry out a law giving preference for up to two highly sought-after medical marijuana licenses to applicants who own facilities that were used to process citrus.

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Republicans running to replace Attorney General Pam Bondi disagree with her legal stand against a 19-year-old Alachua County woman who wants to remain anonymous in a National Rifle Association challenge to a new state gun restriction.

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A South Florida hospital has agreed to reimburse the state more than $800,000 to settle Medicaid claims about care for undocumented immigrants who sought treatment.

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Three of the state’s top Democratic candidates for governor support legalization of recreational marijuana, and the fourth backs decriminalizing pot for personal use, showing near-consensus on an issue political rainmaker John Morgan said could determine the outcome of the August primary.

Months after Gov. Rick Scott promised a hard line against nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, much of the industry is not in compliance with new rules as the state heads into the 2018 hurricane season.

Florida Medicaid officials on Thursday announced their intent to award contracts to two companies owned by health care providers, bringing to 11 the number of managed-care plans expected to sign five-year contracts with the state.

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As sea-turtle nesting season reaches its peak, the number of reptiles laying eggs on Florida beaches continues to trend upward.

But officials say Subtropical Storm Alberto washed away some nests and flooded others across the state this week, which makes it unlikely any of those eggs will survive.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Robbin Trindell said natural occurrences like Alberto make it even more important for residents and guests to help protect turtles.

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The battle over whether Florida patients should be able to smoke medical marijuana continues to flare.

Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr Creative Commons

Groups including the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties plan to back a Volusia County hospital district in a dispute at the state Supreme Court about construction of a new hospital.

The Supreme Court last week approved a request by groups and local governments, including the Florida League of Cities, the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida Association of Special Districts, to file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Halifax Hospital Medical Center taxing district.

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With the opioid crisis as a backdrop, Florida physical therapists are promoting their services with a new website and statewide educational campaign in hopes of expanding their footprint in the health-care marketplace.

WellCare

Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, a major player in Florida’s Medicaid market, announced a $2.5 billion deal Tuesday that includes buying managed-care plans with hundreds of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries in Michigan and Illinois.

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With a sales-tax “holiday” starting next week, retailers are expecting big spending on disaster-preparedness supplies by Floridians who have fresh memories of Hurricane Irma.

Though describing it as a “close call,” an appeals court Friday upheld a decision by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to turn down approval of new hospice provider in Sarasota County. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday refused to jump into an ongoing legal battle about whether Tampa businessman Joe Redner should be able to grow his own medical marijuana to try to prevent a recurrence of lung cancer.

The Supreme Court issued a one-paragraph order rejecting Redner’s request that it lift a stay imposed by the 1st District Court of Appeal and allow him to grow his own pot.

WMFE

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a Hillsborough County case that deals with how courts should carry out a controversial 2017 change to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

NPR

A Sarasota nursing home has agreed to pay $26,000 in fines and increased licensure fees after the facility failed to notify the daughter of a resident that her mother’s health was deteriorating.

Coaster420

Businesses seeking to enter Florida’s pot industry warned state health officials Thursday of numerous flaws in a proposed rule that would expand the number of medical marijuana operators but could lead to further delays in a process that’s already months overdue.

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Amid requests for the Florida Supreme Court to wade into the issue, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday ruled against a defendant in one in a series of cases about how to carry out a controversial 2017 change to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

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An appeals court Wednesday overturned a ruling that said a state law aimed at cracking down on pain-management clinics was unconstitutional. 

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Eleven national parks in Florida are threatened by White House proposals to open to oil drilling currently protected parts of the nation’s outer continental shelf and to revise the 2016 Well Control Rule, according to a report released Wednesday by environmental conservation groups. 

More than 15,000 lionfish were recently removed from Florida waters as the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has started a more than three-month effort to remove the invasive species from state waters.

Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to put high-water vehicles in position to respond as the National Hurricane Season monitored a large area of showers that extended from the northwestern Caribbean across Cuba and into the Florida peninsula.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Attorney General Pam Bondi is drawing praise from Republicans seeking to replace her after the term-limited state Cabinet member last week took on opioid manufacturers in court.

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Lawyers for an embattled Broward County nursing home failed to show up Monday for a hearing they requested in a public-records legal tangle with the Florida Department of Health.

Andy Teo (Flickr)

The National Rifle Association is appealing a federal judge’s refusal to keep the identity of a 19-year-old Alachua County woman secret in a challenge to a state law that raised the age to purchase rifles and other long guns.

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