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DOH

Florence Snyder: What does it take to get fired at DOH?

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Lola Pouncey, a Florida Department of Health (DOH) “bureau chief” making $90,000 a year in “medical quality assurance,” set up a jewelry store in her state office. She commandeered state workers, state time, and state property in her for-profit business, according to the agency’s inspector general (IG), whose findings were available to DOH Secretary Celeste Philip well before the rest of us found out from Miami Herald reporter Glenn Garvin. Seventeen days after Garvin’s story, Pouncey is still on the state…

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Saying voter intent ‘ignored’ on medical marijuana, Tampa Bay Times is just plain wrong

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The Tampa Bay Times is just plain wrong about something, and it has stuck in my craw for nearly a week now. Last Thursday, a Times headline read: “Voter intent on medical marijuana ignored.” Two days later, columnist John Romano followed suit with virtually the same narrative. “Ignored?” The clear inference of the editorial – notably, the word “ignored” – utterly fails to acknowledge reality. “Ignored” clearly and purposefully claims the will of those who voted for the constitutional amendment…

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Senate panel approves changes to Florida “Early Steps Program”

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A Senate committee voted Thursday to introduce a bill that would improve state programs for infants and toddlers with developmental delays. Proposed by the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs, SB 7034 renames the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program to the “Early Steps Program” and requires the Florida Department of Health to make information on early developmental conditions available to parents online and to train health care workers how to identify and respond to such conditions. “The…

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Final arguments heard in Charlotte’s Web challenge

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The latest challenge to proposed regulations for Florida’s medical marijuana law is in its final stage. Late Thursday, attorneys for the Department of Health and Baywood Nurseries filed proposed final orders with Judge W. David Watkins. The two sides repeated the arguments they made during a hearing last month. Baywood went into greater detail in its complaint about the makeup of a negotiated rulemaking committee, the lack of definitions for terms used, the absence of an appeals process for license revocation…

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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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Charlotte’s Web challenge dismissed; DOH ordered to respond to last one

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One challenge remains to block planting Florida’s first legal marijuana crop. And the Department of Health has a 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday in its effort to defeat it and begin implementing the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. Late Tuesday, Judge W. David Watkins dismissed the challenge filed by Master Growers. The order is here. Watkins ruled that Master Growers lacked standing to sue DOH over a proposed rule to award five licenses authorized by lawmakers to grow marijuana and dispense…

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Charlotte’s Web ‘glitch’ bill pulled from Senate floor

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On Wednesday morning, state Sen. Rob Bradley temporarily postponed Senate consideration of SPB 7066, the legislative fix for the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. Scheduled for a second reading is the measure addressing concerns believed to be driving legal challenges to a proposed rule for the Act. Meanwhile, the state Department of Health faces a 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday in its effort to defeat the last remaining challenge to its proposed regulatory structure for the Charlotte’s Web law. “We’re in a…

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