Florida medical marijuana processors scrambling to avert suspensions

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Florida medical marijuana, Florida medical marijuana processors scrambling to avert suspensions

More than half of Florida’s 13 medical marijuana processors are scrambling to complete state-mandated, food-safety inspections to prevent their operations from being suspended.

The issue surfaced when the Florida State Department of Health sent letters last week warning that regulators would enforce the requirement that processors pass a food safety inspection within their first year of operation, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Jeffrey Sharkey of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida told Marijuana Business Daily on Friday that businesses are working hard to meet the deadlines and that he doesn’t expect large disruptions of supply in a market enjoying exploding growth.

Marijuana Business Factbook 2018 projects MMJ sales in Florida could reach as much as $235 million this year.

Sharkey said the letters caught some processors by surprise because they thought the requirement, tied to the production of edibles, would be waived since the state hasn’t yet finalized edible rules.

He confirmed that one processor, The Green Solution, had to suspend operations, while others are scurrying to line up inspections and get certified before mostly July and August deadlines to do so.

The enforcement could have a negative impact on patients’ perceptions of certain MMJ businesses, Sharkey said.

“It doesn’t affect growing or cultivation; one can have inventory ready to go,” Sharkey said. “But it could certainly affect the inventory supply chain for some of these folks” if they have to suspend operations for a while.