Growing Medical Marijuana in Florida

HAVANA, Fla. Florida set strict parameters for growing low grade medical marijuana. Some eligible farms see it as a potential economic boost, and the department of agriculture says the number of eligible nurseries will grow.

May Nursery started as a tobacco farm in 1971. It now grows ornament flowers.

Co-Owner Fred May says he never thought he’d be thinking about growing marijuana. “It’s not going to be cheap, but it’s a doable thing.”

May Nursery meets the 30 year continuous operation and inventory requirements set by the legislature. Possibly growing cannabis that could help seizure victims isn’t out of the question for the Mays.

“We’re going to need to partner up with some type of pharmaceutical company to really learn how to do this.”

The Department of Agriculture originally named 21 growers who met the criteria. That number increased because Ag digital records only went back 26 years.

This nursery is one of 39 in the state that the department of Agriculture says could be eligible to grow low THC medical marijuana, and that list is getting bigger.

The department says the number will grow larger when nurseries in year 29 hit the 30 year mark.

Sen. Rob Bradley, “We’re not looking to create a new marijuana agricultural industry in the state of Florida. We’re looking to use existing Florida businesses.”

Some lawmakers said 30 years was too restrictive, but May thinks experience is necessary, especially for an unknown crop. “A lot remains to be seen, it’s a gamble, for us and for everybody.”

If the bill is signed, only five nurseries will be licensed.

A proposed constitutional amendment allowing broader medical marijuana use will be on the ballot this November. Early polls show passage is likely.


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