Look for Linda McMullen to be named director of Office of Compassionate Use

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Editor’s note: The following is cross-posted from Politics of Pot.

Word is quietly spreading through the capital that Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong has decided on a director for the new Office of Compassionate Use, the Department of Health office which will be overseeing implementation and regulation of Charlotte’s Web.

Look for Linda McMullen, the Department’s Deputy General Counsel of the Medical Professional Prosecution Services Section, to be named the first director of the OCU.

SB 1030, which authorizes the use of a low-THC strain of cannabis, calls for the creation of the office under the Deputy Secretary of Health to administer the law.

Among the Office’s responsibilities under the Charlotte’s Web law is a requirement to create a secure electronic and online registry of physicians and patients accessible by law enforcement and the dispensers.

The details of other regulations it will administer, such as licensing fees and procedures, will be decided during a rule-making process which begins with a public workshop Monday.

The Charlotte’s Web law represents what one political observer called a “sea-change” in public policy; Florida is the first southern state to allow a medicinal use of cannabis, joining 21 other states.

The Office of Compassionate Use will create the administrative infrastructure to implement rules and regulations governing the use of medicinal marijuana. Concerning word that McMullen appears to be the person who will lead the office, one source said she is a savvy, well-like operator with a record dating to the Graham administration.

McMullen’s appointment is also seen as a surprisingly strong choice for a politically sensitive position by the Rick Scott administration —  one that seems to often favor Tallahassee outsiders with little or no government experience.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.