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Challenging traditional views of medical marijuana with compassion

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It comes as no surprise that support for medical marijuana continues to grow, as discussions surrounding the implementation of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 continue to heat up.

Recently, Sarasota state Rep. Greg Steube filed a bill to expand the state’s low THC medical cannabis regime.  And, a survey was conducted by St. Pete Polls in late July that showed 68 percent of Florida voters would support a proposed measure for medical marijuana.

It is becoming inherently clear that there is a growing desire to ensure that those who need marijuana for medicinal purposes are able to access it — however, with the proper safeguards in place to prevent abuse for purely recreational use (especially with the lack of such safeguards, which led to the defeat of Amendment 2).

The Florida Department of Health has a large task ahead in selecting who should be able to operate as a low-THC dispensing organization within the five regions of the Sunshine State.  And I do not envy the department one bit in this endeavor. However, one applicant who has submitted an application in the Southwest Region of Florida particularly grabbed my attention, enough so that I want to share it with you.

Hugh Hempel, an executive team member of Sun Bulb Co., has a personal mission of bringing medicinal cannabis to patients in need. He has twin daughters who were diagnosed with a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disease (often referred to as Childhood Alzheimer’s) that causes daily seizures. In fact, his daughters receive several doses a day of CBD oil to effectively and safely combat their seizures.

Hempel and his wife, Chris, have become nationally recognized as healthcare advocates and their story hit home with me. You can see how medical cannabis changed his mind in his TED Talk video:

As a father, I can relate to wanting to do everything we can for the health and betterment of our children and the lives they live.  And, I am encouraged by the desires of this applicant, in particular, who wants nothing more than to obtain medicinal cannabis for those in need, like his daughters.  I encourage you to watch their compassionate video.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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