Florida lawmakers angry over medical cannabis licensing delay

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Florida’s top medical marijuana regulator was “scolded” by state lawmakers on Tuesday after his office missed a mandated deadline to issue more MMJ business licenses.

Christian Bax, the executive director of the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, received a tongue-lashing from state senators who are frustrated the state hadn’t issued another 10 MMJ business permits by Oct. 3, as his office had been mandated to do.

According to CBS Miami, Bax hasn’t yet hired a vendor to begin scoring license applications, even though the process was supposed to be finished weeks ago.

Bax, however, contended that the process has been forced to a standstill by a lawsuit challenging the entire permitting process.

“If this process gets struck down, we would have to start from the beginning,” Bax told lawmakers Tuesday.

One Florida lawmaker tore into Bax and said the lawsuit was an excuse, not a reason.

“You have a duty under our state laws to issue these licenses, regardless of whether some plaintiff files a lawsuit,” state Sen. Dana Young charged.

Lawmakers also lambasted Bax over what they said were lengthy wait times for MMJ patients who had registered for medical cannabis cards but had to endure lengthy waits before receiving the cards.

Bax countered that at any given point, the patient registry has a 6,000-person wait list.