Medical marijuana legal experts discuss nuances of new “Charlotte’s Web” law

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When Gov. Rick Scott signed the legalization of “Charlotte’s Web” into law, Florida has become the 23rd state to pass a form of medical marijuana legislation.

For those wanting to learn what “Charlotte’s Web” is, and why it is critical for Floridians, some experts in the field have provided a few answers.

“First and foremost people need to understand that even when the law goes into effect in January, marijuana is still illegal under Florida law, with the exception of very limited exceptions carved out by the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act,” says David Shiner, of the Shiner Law Group based in Boca Raton. “You can’t go to your medicine cabinet, grab a joint, sit on your porch and light up, thinking you won’t get arrested.”

Attorneys with the Shiner Law Group are preeminent legal experts on medical marijuana.

Passage of the bill emphasizes the differences between federal and state laws, as well as the restrictions enclosed in the bill itself, many of which will create additional challenges for the drug’s distribution—which are more complicated than many assume.

Exploring the legal and regulatory details of the newly legalized “Charlotte’s Web,” a marijuana extract low in THC (the substance that gets users high) are Shiner and Patrick Vo, Chief Operating Officer of BiotrackTHC, the oldest and most experienced tracking company in North America.

“It is in everyone’s interest to be in compliance,” says Vo.  “In August 2013 the Department of Justice released a memo that basically stated that those states and businesses that implement strong and effective systems of controls will be a low priority for prosecution.”

The full interview with Shiner and Vo is available at

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.