Florida will delay awarding five new medical cannabis licenses

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Florida’s medical marijuana regulators will miss their deadline to award five more MMJ business licenses.

A statute passed in June required the state’s MMJ regulators to issue five new medical marijuana licenses by Aug. 3 and five more by Oct. 3.

The first five were awarded on time, but the others will be delayed for an undetermined period, Sunshine State News reported.

The head of Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) blamed the missed deadline on Hurricane Irma and a lawsuit filed by an African-American farmer, according to the news outlet.

In his lawsuit, the farmer charged that the new law’s license-awarding process is overly restrictive and blocked many otherwise qualified black farmers from applying for business licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana.

However, the campaign manager behind Florida’s MMJ ballot measure told Marijuana Business Daily almost two weeks ago it would be “impossible” for the state to make its deadline.

Ben Pollara, executive director of Florida for Care, based his assertion on the fact MMJ regulators hadn’t yet selected a consultant to oversee the application scoring process.

Meanwhile, the OMMU also is running behind in efforts to issue MMJ cards to patients seeking to buy medical cannabis.