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Posted on 12-15-2017

Patients, families, and growers of marijuana in Florida are suing the state over the failure of regulators to meet the deadlines that have been set related to the voter-approved medical marijuana law in 2016.

The plaintiffs state that the Florida Department of Health has not yet issued licenses to additional dispensaries as was stipulated by the deadline.

Their lawsuit states that Florida law mandated the state Department of Health to issue ten additional licenses byOctober 3rd which it failed to do. This has caused a lot of patients to have limited access to medical marijuana. There is a backlog of patient applications from those that want to participate in the nascent medical marijuana access program of the state. The regulators have the backlog.

There is a new provision in the constitution of Florida along with a statute that was passed in 2017 for the implementation of changes. There was a deadline of October 3rd for the Florida Department of Health to give medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC) 10 new licenses. After delaying for months, the Florida Department of Health missed the deadline.

There are two plaintiffs. They are a Pensacola resident, Michael Bowen, a resident of Pensacola who suffers from severe epilepsy that can be controlled by using medical marijuana and a family-owned nursery business that want to be licensed as an MMTC.

The epilepsy causes Michael a lot of pain and puts him at the risk of brain damage and other severe things and even death. Michael explains that medical marijuana is the only thing that has worked for him. It has allowed him to live a good life.

Matthew Garrison is a decorated Army combat veteran who was disabled after his military service. His family was inspired by what Matthew and other combat veterans experience. They then sought a license to make their nursery business become a licensed marijuana dispensary. If the family had access to medical marijuana treatments, Matthew might still be alive.

The plaintiffs state that the Department of Health has not yet issued licenses to additional dispensaries in Florida as was stipulated by the deadline.

In July, there was a lawsuit that was filed challenging a change to the amendment that prohibited people from smoking marijuana.

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