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Year in Review: Medical marijuana bill blows it

Dec 29, 2014


SF Business Journal -  This year's push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida flamed out, but its supporters are still going strong.

"We're banking on there being [more] legislation put forth," said Jordan Schlosser, who runs Wynwood Extract Company. The South Florida business sells nutritional supplements derived from hemp.
Back in July, nearly 88 percent of Floridians were expected to vote for a proposal to fully legalize medical marijuana. When Election Day rolled around, only 58 percent of voters came out in favor of Amendment 2 — just shy of the 60 percent it needed to pass.
Campaigns for both sides spent a total of about $10 million. Ultimately, many felt the amendment was poorly written, said Dr. Sanford Silverman, president of the Broward County Medical Association.
Medical marijuana advocates had one victory in 2014: Gov. Rick Scott signed a "Charlotte's Web" law legalizing a non-euphoric strain of the drug to treat children with seizure disorders. The law allows Florida to issue five licenses to plant nurseries to grow marijuana.
Outside of those licenses, few opportunities exist for marijuana-related businesses in Florida in the upcoming year — but many are still trying.
In the fall, South Florida law firm Kelley Kronenberg brought on an attorney who has devoted his practice to fighting clients' marijuana violations, as well as a non-lawyer with a personal tie to the issue.
"We have an eight-year-old daughter named Rebecca, and Rebecca is severely medically complex," said Seth Hyman, a Weston father who now serves as director of business development for the firm. "She doesn't walk or talk."
He said his daughter has hundreds of seizures a day that can't be controlled by traditional medicine, and so he helped push for the "Charlotte's Web" law that Florida passed earlier this year.
Hyman said in November he wasn't sure what Kelley Kronenberg would do next to prepare for what he believes is the inevitable legalization of medical marijuana, but said the firm was "moving full speed ahead."

“If you choose to consume, please do so responsibly.” 

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