On Monday, Florida’s Department of Health Office of Compassionate Use announced the selection of five medicinal cannabis nursery/dispensaries to cultivate and distribute the CBD-rich “Charlotte’s Web” strain statewide, which was welcome news to ailing Floridians—particularly epileptic children—who have waited over a year to access their legal medicine.
As reported by WPTV, the five dispensaries chosen are: Hackney Nursery (serving the Northwest region of Florida), Chestnut Hill Tree Farm (Northeast), Knox Nursery (Central), Alpha Foliage (Southwest) and Costa Nursery Farms (Southeast, which includes Miami).
In June 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 1030 that legalized Charlotte’s Web, but the Department of Health went through a cumbersome selection process, utilizing more than 600 pages of scorecards to whittle down the original 28 applicants to the final quintet of medi-pot providers.
State Senator Rob Bradley, one of primary sponsors of SB 1030, praised the Florida Surgeon General for choosing the dispensaries.
“I think now the attention should be focused on the industry to make sure that they cause no further delays and we move forward getting this product to these suffering families as quickly as possible,” he said.
Frustratingly, potential obstacles remain, including the “losing” nurseries legally challenging the licenses awarded to the “winners.”
Meanwhile, those five dispensaries are presently obligated to request “cultivation authorization” within 75 days, and once granted, must be dispensing low-THC products like Charlotte’s Web within 210 days (approximately 7 months). The five dispensaries also only have 10 business days to post a $5 million “performance bond.” Only nurseries in business for a minimum of 30 years and currently growing 400,000 plants were eligible for the competition.
One of the most intriguing prospective providers not chosen was Loop’s Nursery in Jacksonville, despite their partnership with the Stanley Brothers—the Colorado-based family creators of Charlotte’s Web, engineered by crossbreeding a traditional pot strain with industrial hemp, producing a CBD-saturated plant which offers therapeutic relief without the psychoactive intoxication caused by THC.