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Nurseries Challenge State Over Medical Marijuana Licenses

Florida Department of Health

Monday was the last day for nurseries to challenge how the state handed out licenses to grow medical marijuana.

Eleven nurseries filed a total of 13 petitions with the Florida Department of Health.  They all have different reasons for challenging the state.

The state’s medical marijuana program divides Florida into five regions. Each nursery gets a region. The nurseries will grow a non-euphoric strain of marijuana meant to treat patients suffering from cancer or epileptic seizures. 

The nurseries will grow, cultivate and process the marijuana into an oil.

San Felasco Nurseriesis located in the Northeast region. Jim McKee is San Felasco’s attorney.

McKee said it was disqualified because of a discrepancy over an employee’s background check. He said the company thought it had resolved the issue, but only found out it was still a problem when the state announced who received the licenses.  

McKee said the nursery should have received a license because DOH ranked it highest for its region. He said there would have been time to resolve the issue if they had been properly notified.

“If the department had followed its rule and made this disqualification decision when it should have, we think there would have been plenty of time to follow the correct administrative appeal process and really get a determination as to whether this individual should have been disqualified or not,” he said.

Other petitions said the department inconsistently scored nurseries and improperly evaluated financial statements.

A DOH spokesperson said they will review the petitions and evaluate its next steps this week. 

The nurseries that filed petitions are listed below:
-San Felasco Nurseries, Northeast Region (2 challenges)
-Perkins Nursery, Southwest Region
-Tropiflora, Southwest Region
-Tornello Landscape Corp., Southwest Region
-Plants of Ruskin, Southwest Region
-Loop's Nursery and Greenhouses, Northeast Region
-McCrory's Sunny Hill Nursery, Central Region
-Redland Nursery, Central Region (2 challenges)
-Alpha Foliage, Northwest Region
-Dewar Nurseries, Central Region
-Chesnut Hill, Northeast  Region (filed a counter complaint)

Topher is a reporter at WGCU News.