Florida business resumes medical cannabis processing after inspections

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Florida medical marijuana state-mandated food-safety inspection deadline, Florida business resumes medical cannabis processing after inspections

(This story has been updated from an earlier version to reflect that Surterra Wellness has permission to resume processing at two facilities.)

One of Florida’s largest medical marijuana businesses received permission Friday to resume operations at two processing facilities after passing state-mandated food-safety inspections, according to company officials and state documents.

Surterra Wellness, which has eight dispensaries statewide, was the second Florida business forced by the state to halt processing operations temporarily to meet the food-safety inspection deadline.

The Green Solution in Gainesville also suspended processing of new products earlier this month, while several other MMJ businesses face inspection deadlines at the end of July or early August.

“During this process, we maintained plenty of inventory on hand and experienced zero interruption to operations for our patients,” Surterra spokeswoman Kim Hawkes wrote in a statement.

Surterra has a third processing plant, but that facility is still under construction, according to a company spokeswoman.

The issue surfaced when the Florida Department of Health sent letters earlier this month notifying processors they were required to pass a food-safety inspection within their first year of operation. A handful had already done so.

Jeffrey Sharkey of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida told Marijuana Business Daily last week that the enforcement action caught some processors by surprise. He said they thought the requirement would be waived since the state hasn’t yet finalized edible rules.