Medical Marijuana License Delays Anger Florida State Senators
Since the approval of use of medical marijuana in Florida especially, people remained quite hopeful about finding a cure for various diseases. However, a major glitch in the process is issuance of licenses, which somehow have been put on endless pending list by the legislators, or so it seems.
Florida health officials are being criticized lately for being too slow in implementing of latest medical marijuana laws and leaving various patients in lurch. According to the new law passed, 10 new dispensing licences were supposed to be issued by October 3rd but that has not been materialized as we speak.
Executive Director of state Office of Medical Marijuana Use, Christian Bax has laid the blame on the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a part of newly passed law. According to him, a case filed by Columbus Smith, a black farmer from Panama City has held him back from processing the application any further.
According to the lawsuit filed by a black farmer, Columbus Smith, only handful of black farmers could qualify for the license, which falls in the category of unconstitutional “Special Law”. Senate Health Policy chair Dana Young find his explanation for delay implausible and incredible.
According to Young, lawyers are sued all the time, which is not an unusual thing, so his excuse of a lawsuit holding him from processing the application is quite lame. Naples Republican Kathleen Passidomo shares Young’s point of view on this issue as well. Also, Plantation Democrat Lauren Book raised a different issue in which she criticized late issuance of patient ID cards. According to her, it took her three months to get an ID card herself as an experiment she conducted to gauge the efficacy of the Health Department.
Response to these queries was promptly provided by the lawyer. According to his claims, there have been marked improvement in the process of issuing licences and soon, they will be handed over to the outside vendors, as according to him, outsourcing will improve the process and will be significant. According to him, this will remove logistical challenges of operations and vendors will be able to provide ID cards on industrial scale.
According to the lawmakers, they will keep an eye on the progress of the process. Committee officals went on to add the fact that total disregard for a legislative mandate is quite appalling for the members of the committee. Young voiced her concern as well in this regard, as according to her; the ailing patients have already been waiting for medical marijuana too long.
This situation makes it extremely difficult for the patients who raised their hopes of finding an alternative solution for their health problems when the law of legalizing of medical marijuana was approved in November. The delay however, is seen with scepticism not only by the patients, but also by the lawmakers. It is however, unclear the course of action that will be taken by them in the future regarding the swift issuance of licenses as well as ID cards to the patients.