Questions in FL Over Obtaining Cannabis for CBD Program

Entrepreneurs in Florida are wondering how they will obtain cannabis clones and seeds, as the state’s recently approved cannabidiol (CBD) law does not provide any guidelines.

Florida’s CBD program allows five companies to cultivate cannabis, synthesize it into CBD oil and then sell it via dispensaries spread strategically throughout the state. But the law does not outline how the businesses are supposed to obtain cannabis seeds, plants or tissue cultures for their first crop.

It’s a common issue in new medical marijuana states, which typically fail to address how growers are supposed to get started. In many cases, officials simply look the other way, and cultivators obtain clones and seeds via the black market.

Transporting cannabis across state lines is federally illegal, and entrepreneurs in Florida told the Sun Sentinel newspaper that they are unwilling to break the law to start their businesses.

One of the co-sponsors behind the CBD bill, Democrat Katie Edwards, said the state could possible obtain cannabis through the University of Florida, which could procure it from the federal marijuana research project at the University of Mississippi.

That plan presents a problem: the Mississippi farm has not disclosed which strains of cannabis are under cultivation there, and high-CBD strains may not be available.

Another co-sponsor, Republican Matt Gaetz, said the easiest way to obtain the initial marijuana needed is “a nondescript white van moving along I-10.”

“How these entities get started is clearly not something set forth in the law I passed,” he said. “I think anybody looking for some sort of comforting immunity is going to be sadly disappointed.”

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  1. trent July 11, 2014
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