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Charlotte’s Web rivals slug it out in the press

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Jon Moyle, an attorney for Holly Moseley, has just fired a shot across the bow of blogger Jacob Engels and Sunshine State News (SSN). Moyle issued a strongly worded missive to the managing editor of the conservative media outlet regarding a column attacking Moseley, who is executive director of Charlotte’s Web advocacy group Realm of Care.

Writing in SSN, Engels charged last week that Moseley, who also sits on a Charlotte’s Web rulemaking committee, maintains an inappropriate business relationship with Charlotte’s Web developer Joel Stanley and that Moseley has violated Florida’s Sunshine Law by secretly coordinating with him in private.

“First it was Bob Wallace of Chestnut Hill Nursery in Alachua, white-lying his way onto the medical marijuana rule-making panel,” read the column. “Now, sadly, it’s committee members Joel Stanley, owner of the “Charlotte’s Web” strain, and Holly Moseley, the ‘patient representative’ on the panel. They failed to disclose to [board chair PattyNelson, to fellow committee members and to the public that they have a business relationship. It is a serious breach of ethics and possibly a criminal violation.”

“Both statements are false,” wrote Moyle. “Only speculation and conjecture support your suggestion that my client violated the Sunshine Law. She did not.”

While her husband Peyton Moseley does have a relationship with Stanley in his capacity with nonprofit medical marijuana group Ray of Hope 4 Florida, Holly does not formally work with Stanley.

“The Department of Health was aware of the position held by my client with the nonprofit and the relationship Joel Stanley has with my client’s husband,” continued Moyle. “Your suggestion of active concealment is false.”

Then came the coup de grâce. 

“…[G]iven the patently false statements, my client demands that you retract the column that you posted this morning in the Sunshine State News and on any other websites,” wrote Moyle. “Please advise me whether you will retract the column so that my client can take other appropriate steps, if necessary, to correct this wrong. “

The letter seems to have hit its mark. the column, titled “Charlotte’s Tangled Web: Now Look Whose Ethics Are Questioned,” has been removed.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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