TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A day after facing criticism for the pace of carrying out a 2014 medical-marijuana law, the Florida Department of Health has announced that it expects to issue key licenses to five nurseries this fall.

A letter from department General Counsel Nichole Geary to House Health Quality Chairman Cary Pigman Park, did not give a specific target date for issuing the licenses.

During a meeting of Pigman’s subcommittee this week, Rep. Greg Steube expressed frustration with how the law has been carried out. Steube took issue, in part, with the department being unable to provide a timeline to issue licenses to nurseries that will grow, process and dispense limited types of cannabis in different regions of the state.

The law was passed to allow medical marijuana that purportedly does not get users high, with the types of cannabis low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD.

The measure passed after heavy lobbying by parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy. But legal battles and other regulatory issues have delayed the availability of the products.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican who was an important player in passing the 2014 law, said the department has indicated that the licensing decisions could be made in a matter of “days or weeks.”

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

Comments