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Growers, Docs File Low-THC Pot Applications

Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Department of Health has 90 days to decide which five nurseries will be allowed to grow low-THC medical marijuana in Florida. 

As of last week, 24 nurseries had submitted 28 applications. Also, 36 Florida doctors have signed up to dispense the low-THC medical marijuana.

It's been more than a year since lawmakers approved a non-euphoric strain of medical marijuana. But its implementation has been slowed by lawsuits. 

“We’re happy this part of the process is over,” said Bruce Knox, president of Central Florida's Knox Nursery, one of the eight nurseries that applied. “It’s like closing a chapter in a book, I think.”

A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health says the agency is committed to getting medical marijuana to children with epilepsy and cancer patients as soon as possible.

So what happens next? By October, the department has to pick the five nurseries who can grow all of Florida’s crop. Those nurseries then have 10 days to post a $5 million bond, and they must start growing medical marijuana by December 23.

The growers must have crops processed into medicine for patients by July 20, 2016.

Another big challenge is getting the word out to the public that this form of medical marijuana is legal, Knox said.

“Amendment 2 failed,” Knox said. “So most people don’t even know the governor signed a bill into law.”

The following nurseries have applied to grow medical marijuana in Florida: 

  • McCrory’s Sunny Hill Nursery; Region: Central
  • Loop’s Nursery and Greenhouses Inc.; Region: Northeast
  • Keith St. Germain Nursery Farms; Region: Southeast
  • Plants of Ruskin; Region: Southwest
  • Deleons’ Bromeliads Inc.; Region: Central
  • Bill’s Nursery Inc. d/b/a Almond Tree Nursery; Region: Southeast
  • Bill’s Nursery Inc. d/b/a Almond Tree Nursery; Region: Northeast
  • Chestnut Hill Tree Farm LLC; Region: Northeast
  • Costa Nursery Farms LLC; Region: Southeast
  • George Hackney Inc. d/b/a Hackney Nursery; Region: Northwest
  • Nature’s Way Nursery of Miami; Region: Southeast
  • Alpha Foliage Inc.; Region: Northwest
  • Alpha Foliage Inc.; Region: Southwest
  • Redland Nursery Inc.; Region: Central
  • Redland Nursery Inc.; Region: Southeast
  • Hart’s Plant Nursery Inc.; Region: Northeast
  • Hart’s Plant Nursery Inc.; Region: Northwest
  • Sun Bulb Company Inc.; Region: Southwest
  • Treadwell Nursery; Region: Central
  • Spring Oaks Greenhouse Inc.; Region: Central
  • Knox Nursery Inc.; Region: Central
  • San Felasco Nurseries, Inc. d/b/a Grandiflora; Region: Northeast
  • Tropiflora LLC; Region: Southwest
  • Dewar Nurseries Inc.; Region: Central
  • Tornello Landscape Corp. d/b/a 3 Boys Farm; Region: Southwest
  • Perkins Nursery Inc.; Region: Southwest
  • Tree-King Tree Farm Inc.; Region: Northwest
  • Razbuton Inc.; Region: Central

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.