Florida: Medical Marijuana Legalization To Be Limited To Only Five Pot Dispensaries Chosen In Lottery

Florida’s medical marijuana legalization is expected to go through in November assuming a very popular amendment is passed by the state’s population, but already one obstacle being raised is the limitation of only five medical marijuana dispensaries. To top it off, these businesses will be chosen at random, not based upon capability to serve the public.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, activists who claim Florida’s marijuana legalization effort is dangerous are claiming the legal weed amendment will become a “pot express” which transforms into recreational marijuana in practice.

But those warnings seem highly unlikely considering that the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use will be limiting plant nurseries to growing a specific strain of cannabis limited to helping alleviate life-threatening seizures in children with severe epilepsy. Marijuana dispensary applicants are also limited to nurseries that have been in business for over 30 years and currently grow over 400,000 plants not related to marijuana. Only 55 nurseries meet this criteria and even then the big winners will be determined by a lottery, not by which existing businesses are best suited to become one of the five medical dispensaries in Florida.

Kerry Herndon, owner of Kerry’s Nursery in Apopka, believes the lottery will only harm the children the Charlotte’s Web law is supposed to serve:

“It’s a disaster for the patient population. You’re making medicine for sick children. So it’s like anybody at random within the pool and not the most qualified? Really?”

Ron Watson, who also represents the Florida Medical Cannabis Association, says Florida’s medical marijuana legalization needs to be capable of serving the entire state:

“A regional distribution system has no checks and balances and will punish the patient through cost and availability. A patient should be able to choose the best medicine regardless of where it is grown.”

Because it’s assumed that only five locations would be unable to cover the entirety of Florida, a new draft rule would allow organization to deliver 30-days supplies of medical marijuana, although a dispensary cannot be operated within a truck as a business. As the rule states, “an infrastructure reasonably located to dispense low-THC cannabis to registered patients statewide or regionally as determined by the department.”

The way that Florida’s medical marijuana legalization is being implemented also limits access to big business only. The average cost of state application fees around the United States is claimed to be around $250,000 and this means marijuana business opportunities are unfortunately limited to the already rich based upon the high entry cost.