Florida May Boost Number of Legal CBD Producers

Women, minority execs show few gains in U.S. cannabis industry, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.

In an attempt to get out in front of a likely 2016 medical cannabis ballot measure, a small group of Florida state lawmakers have revealed a new bill that would eliminate the cap on marijuana growers allowed by the state, and also expand the qualifying medical condition list for CBD.

Currently, Florida law allows for only five marijuana cultivators who would be legally allowed to produce and dispense CBD medicine. Rep. Katie Edwards, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the bill is a reaction to the state Department of Health dragging its feet on the administrative process.

Edwards told the Sun-Sentinel in south Florida that she’s “incredibly frustrated,” and that “patients should’ve had medicine in their hands by the first of the year.”

Although 24 nurseries filed applications last month for the five licenses, and the Department of Health was expected to announce winners by Aug. 8, so far the agency has not revealed the winners and losers.

If the bill is approved, it would add HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or any terminal illness to the qualifying condition list for CBD. Currently, only seizure patients and those with cancer are legally allowed to buy CBD, so that could greatly expand the potential customer base for CBD growers and retailers.