Dara Kam - News Service of Florida

Dara Kam is the Senior Reporter of The News Service Of Florida.

State Panel Prepares To Move Forward With Medical Pot

Aug 31, 2015

State health officials have named the three members of a panel that will choose five nurseries to be Florida's first legal pot growers, setting in motion the final stages of the drawn-out process to get Florida's new medical-marijuana industry off the ground.

A stalemate between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida about the tribe's right to offer blackjack and other games at its casinos appears to have thawed, according to a top Senate negotiator.

The renewed talks signal the possibility of a new deal before an October deadline. Without a deal, the state contends the tribe would be forced to shut down banked card games, including blackjack. The Seminoles maintain they have the right to keep the cards going even without an agreement, known as a "compact," with the state.

Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana this week sent 100,000 petitions to county elections supervisors, one of the first steps in getting the proposal before voters next year.

It's the second shot for United for Care, the committee behind the petition drive, to get the proposal on the ballot. A similar plan received 58 percent of the vote in November, just shy of the 60 percent required for passage.

Patients could have access to long-awaited, non-euphoric pot products by the end of the year, after a judge on Wednesday rejected a challenge to a proposed rule setting up the medical marijuana industry in Florida.

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