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Charlotte’s Web hearing to enter second day, glitch bill still on Senate calendar

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A potential Florida medical marijuana grower is getting every opportunity to make its case in court. Baywood Nurseries of Apopka insists the proposed rule to enact the 2014 Charlotte’s Web law by the Florida Department of Health is unfair to smaller nurseries, blocking them from applying for one of the five licenses available to grow marijuana. The DOH response: Baywood has no case. “We shouldn’t be here for a hearing and another delay,” protested DOH lawyer Eduardo Lombard. Judge W. David…

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Important week ahead for medical marijuana advocates

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Florida is poised to take a significant step in making medicinal cannabis available to people who need it. This week, decisions by lawmakers at the Florida Capitol and an administrative court judge could determine when and how. Frustrated by legal challenges preventing implementation of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, lawmakers are pursuing a legislative fix allowing doctors to treat a select group of patients with low-THC cannabis oil. Patient advocates see SPB 7066, by state Sen. Rob Bradley, as an opportunity…

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Senate grills, then confirms AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek

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The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee voted 8-1 to approve Liz Dudek‘s appointment as head of the state Agency for Health Care Administration but only after she answered more than an hour’s worth of questions regarding Low Income Pool funding, Medicaid expansion and how negotiations are evolving with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Senators asked some pointed questions and Dudek–a longtime state healthcare planner who is held in high regard by the Florida Legislature–gave senators the answers…

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Matt Gaetz makes move on medical marijuana

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Lawmakers are blazing at least three trails in an attempt to make medical marijuana available in Florida. The latest effort comes Wednesday when state Rep. Matt Gaetz will try to amend HB 269, the Right to Try Act, to allow terminally ill patients to use marijuana under certain conditions. The measure filed by state Rep. Ray Pilon establishes the framework to enable doctors to use investigational drugs, biological products or devices to treat patients expected to die within a year of…

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Sickle cell bill on its way to governor

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The Florida Legislature on Thursday gave the nod to a bill that would allow research in sickle cell disease to be eligible for Closing the Gap Grant Program. The bill, SB 94, was passed by the House on Thursday by a unanimous vote. It passed the Senate unanimously, also. Sickle cell is a genetic inherited blood disorder. An estimated 2 million Americans have sickle cell disease and people at risk of inheriting it descend from Africa, India and the Mediterranean…

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Senate Rules committee approves Charlotte’s Web fix

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Licenses to grow and dispense medicinal cannabis under last year’s “Charlotte’s Web” law may be coming soon. The Department of Health would award licenses for medicinal marijuana 75 days after a Charlotte’s Web glitch bill becomes law, according to SPB 7066, a proposal approved Thursday by the Senate Rules Committee. Rules had been SPB 7066’s last scheduled committee stop. “The purpose of this bill is straightforward and simple,” said sponsor state Sen. Rob Bradley. “It is to fulfill a promise…

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One challenge to Charlotte’s Web tossed, two more still pending

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A challenge to a proposed regulatory structure for the state’s medicinal marijuana law has been dismissed. Judge Elizabeth W. McArthur ruled Thursday the attorneys for a 4-year-old Jacksonville girl failed to prove their client is a “qualified patient” under the Compassionate Medicinal Cannabis Act of 2014 and therefore lacks standing as an affected party to block the proposed rule. The ruling is here. It was handed down in a case filed on behalf of a Daliah Barnhardt; you can read a…

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