Medical marijuana processing in Florida may be interrupted

Medical marijuana processing in Florida may be interrupted

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(The Associated Press) TALLAHASSEE — About half of the 13 Florida businesses allowed to grow, process and sell medical marijuana could be suspended from processing cannabis because of a little-noticed deadline in state law requiring food safety inspections — even though edible forms cannot be sold in the state. The requirement mandates that those medical marijuana treatment centers complete third-party inspections in the first year to ensure "good manufacturing practices" but went largely ignored or unnoticed by some centers because the Department of Health has still not cemented rules relating to edible medical marijuana. But in letters sent last week by the department, the state indicated it intends to enforce the provision that any business complete the certification within the first year or stop operating its processing facilities immediately. TAMPA BAY TIMES INVESTIGATION: Florida’s medical marijuana program is attracting troubled doctors: ‘It’s like the Wild Wild West’ One center, Gainesville-based The Green Solution, has already been forced to stop processing products until it can complete the required inspections. At least seven more have not submitted proof they have completed the inspection before their deadlines, though some do not yet have dispensing locations for patients. Most of those deadlines fall in July and August. The decision could affect the availability of medical marijuana in a nascent market that has already been dealing with spotty supply. "There’s no smoking allowed as of yet, so with the exception of these little vape cups, these K-cups that have the flower in them, every product requires processing," said Ben Pollara, who helped spearhead the constitutional amendment that approved medical marijuana in 2016. "If you take away a [center’s] ability to process that theoretically shuts things down, unless they’re sitting on a stockpile." Some businesses that have been operating longer may have more products on […]

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