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Jeff Sharkey

Treadwell Nursery hires Gunster lobbyists Joanna Lee Clary Bonafanti and J. Larry Williams

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Treadwell Nursery appears to be sticking with Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart. Joanna Lee Clary Bonafanti and J. Larry Williams registered with the state to lobby the Florida Legislature on behalf of the Central Florida nursery on Dec. 13. The nursery, which was one of several applicants seeking a permit to grow and distribute medical marijuana, enlisted the help of two other Gunster team members earlier in 2016. State records show Derek Bruce and Cameron Yarbrough registered to lobby the Legislature…

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City of St. Petersburg chooses Capitol Alliance Group as new lobbyist

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has chosen the Capitol Alliance Group of Tallahassee to be the city’s lobbyist in the state capitol. Although Kriseman has made the choice, details of the contract have not been ironed out, spokesman Ben Kirby said. Capitol Alliance will replace the city’s current lobbyist, Peebles and Smith, also based in Tallahassee, in the upcoming Legislative Session. St. Petersburg’s contract will Peebles expired Sept. 30. The contract was worth $50,000 last year. Capitol Alliance has a…

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San Felasco tees up first protest over medical marijuana

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San Felasco Nurseries is filing what is thought to be the first protest over the state’s licensing process for growers of medical marijuana, according to documents obtained Friday by FloridaPolitics.com. The 41-year-old nursery, based in Gainesville, is challenging its rejection in favor of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm for the state’s northeast region. In its petition to the Florida Department of Health, the nursery says it was the highest-ranked applicant to grow and process medicinal pot in the region, but that a bureaucratic bungle…

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Expanded medical marijuana regime bill passes House panel

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A bill to allow dying patients to use medical marijuana as a palliative treatment passed its first hurdle in the House Tuesday morning. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee approved House Bill  307 by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Democratic prime co-sponsor Rep. Katie Edwards by a vote of 9-4. Panel chair Rep. Carlos Trujillo was among the four Republicans voting ‘No.’ The bill amends a state law passed in 2014 that enables terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs that have begun the Federal Food & Drug…

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For Charlotte’s Web hopefuls, the scramble is on ahead of DOH license deadline

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The mood tonight is like an undergraduate’s finals week for a gaggle of commercial farmers hoping to grow the low-THC cannabis product Charlotte’s Web.  Wednesday at 5 p.m. marks the deadline to submit applications for the first-ever legal licenses to grow marijuana in Florida. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health — which houses the Office of Compassionate Use, the agency in charge of implementing a 2014 state law authorizing use of the drug to treat certain chronic or terminal conditions —…

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House joins medical marijuana debate this session

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As the House met in full session Wednesday morning, patient advocates were abuzz about a new amendment allowing terminally ill patients to use medicinal marijuana. State Rep. Matt Gaetz tried to attach it to the bill that would create the Right to Try Act, which would allow patients to use experimental drugs and devices that have completed only the first phase of clinical trials. It marked the first time this session the House had discussed medicinal marijuana on the floor of…

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‘Momma bears’ roam the Florida Capitol searching for medical marijuana for their cubs

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Momma bears. It’s taking the momma bears to end the reefer madness. Paige Figi, Holley Moseley and Dawn Wein are among a group of women who worked the Florida Capitol the past year persuading, pressuring and pleading with lawmakers to lift a prohibition on medical marijuana and authorize the use of cannabis products they say will ease their children’s suffering and, in some cases, potentially save lives. When they showed up at the Capitol it was to put an exclamation point on the generation-long…

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