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1 US FL: Sarasota County Moves To Ban Recreational MarijuanaWed, 30 May 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Rodriguez, Nicole Area:Florida Lines:53 Added:05/30/2018

SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in Florida.

The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent for the vote.

The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.

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2 US FL: Judge Weighs Ban On Patients Smoking Medical MarijuanaWed, 16 May 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:111 Added:05/16/2018

Cathy Jordan credits pot with helping her defeat the odds in the battle against Lou Gehrig's disease she's waged for more than 30 years.

And although she can now legally obtain the cannabis treatment she's relied on for decades, Jordan is prohibited from what she and her doctors swear is the best way for her to consume her medicine -- smoking joints.

Jordan is among the plaintiffs challenging a state law that bans smoking pot as a route of administration for the hundreds of thousands of patients who are eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Florida.

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3 US FL: Florida's Young Medical Marijuana Industry Takes OffSat, 28 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Arnold, Kyle Area:Florida Lines:133 Added:04/28/2018

Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry rage on.

Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry rage on.

Rosa Howard spent 30 minutes in line Tuesday at a Trulieve medical marijuana dispensary in Orlando, packed into a waiting room with mothers, babies and seniors as the distinct smell of cannabis hung in the air.

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4 US FL: Medical Marijuana's 'Catch-22': Fed Limits On Research HinderWed, 25 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Taylor, Marisa Area:Florida Lines:251 Added:04/25/2018

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated.

For four years, her doctor prescribed the 61-year-old a wide range of opioids for her transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help.

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5 US FL: Politicians May Have Changed Their Tune, But The Public'sThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:82 Added:04/24/2018

Politicians may have changed their tune, but the public's feelings on marijuana seem set in stone - Sun Sentinel

Given that former House Speaker John Boehner is now working for a marijuana investment company and that threats by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to crack down on legal recreational marijuana were nixed by President Donald Trump, we asked readers whether any of them have changed their minds recently on marijuana legalization like some elected officials seem to have.

And the answer is no. No, you have not.

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6 US FL: Oped: Doobie-Ous choice: Americans Ignore Marijuana-ImpairedThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Gordon, Robert Area:Florida Lines:102 Added:04/24/2018

Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host 420-themed parties.

Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host 420-themed parties.

Glorifying marijuana use is now a staple across pop culture, music and Hollywood, where getting high is celebrated with nary a mention of the public safety risks involved. But if you smoke, vape, or enjoy edibles and get behind the wheel of a car while impaired, not only are you breaking the law, you are putting your life and the lives of others on the road in great danger.

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7 US FL: More Than 100,000 Sign Up To Get Medical Marijuana In FloridaMon, 23 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:42 Added:04/23/2018

Florida's medical-marijuana patient database has hit the 100,000 mark, according to a weekly update issued by the state Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

As of Friday, 100,576 Florida patients had registered with the office, an increase of more than 2,500 in the past week.

Only 75,208 of the registered patients have been issued ID cards allowing them to purchase the marijuana treatment, and nearly 3,000 more applications for the cards are being processed.

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8US FL: Editorial: Redner's Court Win On Medical Marijuana SendsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.

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9 US FL: Have You Changed Your Mind On Marijuana Like These PoliticiansTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:74 Added:04/18/2018

It didn't get much notice because it happened the same day Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his retirement, but former House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he's joining the board of Acreage Holdings, an investment company concentrating on the marijuana industry. In doing so, he added that his own position on legal marijuana had changed as public opinion had come around on the subject.

And Boehner is far from the only previously anti-pot politician to turn into an advocate.

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10 US FL: Judge Says Florida Man Can Grow His Own Medical MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:28 Added:04/16/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that a Tampa man has the right to grow his own medical marijuana.

Leon County Judge Karen Gievers said on Wednesday that Joseph Redner is entitled under state law to grow and use marijuana for juicing. The 77-year old Redner is in remission for lung cancer and is one of more than 95,000 state residents who is registered as a medical marijuana patient.

The ruling applies only to Redner but could open the door for others who have said the state should allow whole-plant use.

The state's Department of Health immediately filed an appeal after the ruling. Gievers also said in her ruling that the state continues to be non-compliant in the implementation of Amendment 2. The amendment, which passed in 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Florida.

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11US FL: Judge: Joe Redner Can Legally Grow His Own MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2018

Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has ruled that Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner has the right to grow his own marijuana.

The ruling, released Wednesday morning, applies only to Redner, 77.

The Florida Department of Health had said Floridians are barred under state rules from growing cannabis for their personal use, including those who are legally registered as medical marijuana patients.

But Redner and other critics across the state say the health department continues to create barriers for more than 95,000 registered patients in Florida that could benefit from marijuana. Redner is a stage 4 lung cancer survivor and a registered medical marijuana patient.

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12US FL: Are Medical Marijuana, Acupuncture Alternatives To Opioids?Mon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years, Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain without relying on opioids.

Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.

Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.

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13 US FL: Company Files Lawsuit Challenging Orlando's Medical MarijuanaMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Gillespie, Ryan Area:Florida Lines:78 Added:03/31/2018

A company that planned to open a medical marijuana dispensary south of downtown Orlando is challenging the city's ordinance regulating such businesses, alleging it violates state law.

Surterra Florida, which operates five dispensaries statewide, filed the suit in Orange County Circuit Court last week and is asking a judge to rule Orlando's law is "invalid and unenforceable." Tallahassee Attorney William Hall, who filed the suit, is also seeking a temporary injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law while the court rules.

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14 US FL: Rope, Not Dope: UF To Tackle Hemp ResearchTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Strange, Deborah Area:Florida Lines:82 Added:03/31/2018

GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida could start growing industrial hemp as soon as the fall.

But the project still has to pass some hurdles before planting begins, said Rob Gilbert, chairman of the UF/IFAS agronomy department.

The university's board of trustees approved the project Friday, and now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must approve importing industrial hemp seeds. Then the project needs to secure the $1.3 million it needs and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must approve a planting permit.

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15 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.

In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to AIDS.

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16US FL: Editorial: Fighting Meth's Killer ComebackFri, 23 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/23/2018

While opioids hold center stage in the nation's drug war, methamphetamine is making a destructive comeback. Though meth has largely fallen off the public's radar, seizures and arrests are up, and more people are dying from the drug. Its evolution is a reminder of the durability of the illegal drug supply, the impermanence of any single enforcement tactic and the need for a comprehensive approach to fighting and treating addiction.

Potent, addictive and deadly, meth bears many of the pernicious traits of opioids. It became popular in the early 2000s, easily produced in small batches using the decongestant in over-the-counter cold medicine. In rural parts of Tampa Bay, especially eastern Hillsborough and Pasco counties and throughout Polk County, exploding "meth labs" routinely drew law enforcement's attention. Congress responded in 2005 with a law putting pseudoephedrine behind the counter, limiting the amount individuals could purchase and creating a tracking system pharmacies were required to use. Meth became much harder to make and faded from notice, overtaken by a new drug of choice: opioids.

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17US FL: Joe Redner Hopes To Be Allowed To Grow His Own Cannabis AsWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/21/2018

Joe Redner, Tampa's outspoken strip club owner and lung cancer patient, is confident he'll be able to legally grow his own marijuana plants soon, after stating his case in trial before a state circuit court judge on Wednesday.

Redner, 77, made his case against the Florida Department of Health in a Tallahassee courtroom Wednesday on why he has a constitutional right to grow his own marijuana plants. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers is expected to rule on the case next week.

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18 US FL: Ex-DEA Chief Blasts White-Collar PushersThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Cox, Billy Area:Florida Lines:55 Added:03/05/2018

SARASOTA - When the Drug Enforcement Administration was formed in 1973, roughly 2,000 Americans were dying from overdoses each week, largely from heroin injections. In 2016 alone, thanks to a deregulated pharmaceutical industry, fatal overdoses -- 80 percent opioid related - -- claimed 63,000 lives.

Or, as Peter Bensinger pointed out Thursday morning, opium-derived drugs have exacted a higher death toll in a single year than nearly two decades of fighting in the Vietnam War.

Appointed by President Ford in 1976 to become the nation's second DEA director, Bensinger detailed the history of America's relationship with the poppy to a Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning crowd gathered at First United Methodist Church. As the leading cause of death for U.S. residents under 50, the toll from opioids and its synthetic counterparts today would've been unimaginable to Bensinger when he was the nation's top drug cop.

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19US FL: Medical Marijuana May Be Legal, But Patients Still Go WithoutSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Koh, Elizabeth Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2018

Seth and Danielle Hyman with their daughter Rebecca 8, of Weston, are seeking to have a strain of marijuana legalized to help prevent seizures in their daughter, Rebecca, in 2014. Despite the legalization of medical marijuana, Seth Hyman said the drug is still difficult to get for is daughter. [Miami Herald]

When Seth Hyman first began to buy medical marijuana in Florida for his 12-year-old daughter last year, he hoped it would be the answer to fixing her life-threatening seizures.

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20 US FL: Medical Marijuana Is Legal. But How Should Schools Handle It?Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Travis, Scott Area:Florida Lines:43 Added:02/13/2018

Broward County Schools are hashing out plans for dealing with medical marijuana on campus.

Under a proposed policy, students wouldn't be allowed to carry pot and it could not be stored on campus. But a student's parent or caregiver could bring it to school and administer it if the child has the proper medical approval.

School staff would be not be allowed to handle it.

Pot use has long been banned on school campuses, but Florida voters legalized it for medical purposes in 2016. The state Legislature last year required schools to come up with a policy on dealing with it.

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21 US FL: Sarasota OKs Marijuana Dispensaries Within City LimitsWed, 07 Feb 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Anderson, Chris Area:Florida Lines:67 Added:02/09/2018

After a unanimous vote of support by the Sarasota City Commission, medical marijuana dispensaries will now be operational in the city and those with prescriptions will be able to utilize them immediately.

State legislation had preempted the city's ability to regulate the dispensaries, which led to commissioners placing a temporary ban on them until a solution could be found.

That solution happened last month when commissioners approved a plan to change zoning codes, paving the way for those prescribed the drug for various medical ailments to obtain it locally.

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22US FL: Editorial: Treatment, Not Prison, Needed To Fight OpioidTue, 06 Feb 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:02/07/2018

Florida needs to take advantage of every opportunity to bring awareness and resources to the deadly opioid epidemic that is ravaging communities across the state. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes to Tampa today to discuss federal efforts to combat the crisis, but if he sticks to his script of late he will focus on enforcement and punishment instead of where the attention really needs to be: rehabilitation. Without a meaningful commitment at all levels of government to treating addiction, this crisis will continue claiming lives.

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23 US FL: Florida Judge Dismisses Part Of Medical Marijuana LawsuitFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:28 Added:01/26/2018

A Florida judge has ruled that a lawsuit against the state's decision to ban smokable forms of medical marijuana can proceed but without one of the key parties.

Leon County Judge Karen Gievers ruled on Friday that three patients suing the state can proceed because their claims that the ban impacts them are sufficient. Gievers dismissed the motion by People United for Medical Marijuana, which is the committee formed by Orlando attorney John Morgan, because it lacks sufficient grounds. The organization has 10 days to file an amended lawsuit.

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24 US FL: In Florida, A 2016 Spike In Babies Born To Opioid-AddictedThu, 25 Jan 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:White, Dale Area:Florida Lines:68 Added:01/25/2018

Health advocates are hopeful the 2017 numbers will show a decline.

Across Florida the number of babies born to opioid-addicted mothers spiked in 2016.

According to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, 1,903 infants at Florida hospitals suffered from neonatal abstinence syndrome in 2014. That number climbed to 2,487 in 2015 and to 4,215 in 2016.

At Sarasota Memorial Hospital, babies suffering from opioid addiction withdrawal numbered 67 in 2014, jumped to 110 in 2015 and peaked at 114 in 2016.

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25 US FL: Legislature May Expand Miami Needle ExchangeWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Sexton, Christine Area:Florida Lines:56 Added:01/24/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- Two years after lawmakers approved a needle-and-syringe exchange program in Miami-Dade County, the House and Senate are considering taking it statewide and expanding the types of providers who can offer the services.

House and Senate health care-panels on Wednesday approved bills that would allow hospitals, clinics, medical schools and substance-abuse treatment programs to begin offering needle-and-syringe exchange programs to try to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated cost nearly $380,000 to treat over a lifetime.

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26 US FL: Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban Challenged In CourtTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:86 Added:01/23/2018

A judge is deciding whether Floridians should be allowed to consume medical marijuana by smoking it.

Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers heard arguments Thursday on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on smoking.

The medical marijuana constitutional amendment voters approved in 2016 allowed the Legislature to prohibit smoking in public areas. But the law passed in 2017 to implement the amendment banned smoking entirely.

Medical marijuana patients must vape the product, or else use patches, oils, edibles -- any other means but the most traditional way of using the drug.

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27 US FL: This City OK'd Marijuana Dispensaries. Now It's Having SecondFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Geggis, Anne Area:Florida Lines:127 Added:12/08/2017

Have they opened Pandora's box? Some Deerfield Beach city leaders worry that's what they might've done by allowing marijuana dispensaries in the city.

They're now trying to stop medical dispensaries from clustering citywide by keeping them out of commercial areas that also have homes, as well as setting rules to stop them from opening next to one another.

Mayor Bill Ganz said he doesn't want the city to become known as the place to buy pot, even if it's just the medical kind that doesn't get you high.

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28 US FL: What Is Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)?Fri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:29 Added:12/06/2017

Kratom is an herb from Southeast Asia related to the coffee family.

For centuries, people have used the kratom plant as a traditional medicine for energy, alertness and pain relief.

It's typically either chewed or dried, ground and ingested in capsule, smoked or served as tea.

The key psychoactive compounds that produce a "kratom high" are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

A low kratom dosage produces stimulant effects making people more talkative, alert and energetic, according to a DEA fact sheet. At high doses, kratom users can experience the drug's sedative effects, the report shows.

People can buy kratom online and at head shops, vape shops and more recently at kava bars that serve herbal drinks.

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29US FL: Deland Officer Fired, 2 Others Disciplined Over Missing MethTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL) Author:Balona, Patricio G. Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:11/29/2017

A DeLand police officer was fired, another suspended without pay and a third reprimanded this month after they lost methamphetamine collected as evidence at a home over the summer, Internal Affairs documents show.

Officers Michael Mirino, John Rutherford and Thomas Gillan responded to a home on July 14 to stand by as members of Probation and Parole searched the Lazy River Lane home of Cameron Rando, 19, who was on probation for grand theft and burglary of an unoccupied dwelling according to reports released this week.

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30 US FL: Sarasota Medical Marijuana Company Poised To Plant First CropMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Anderson, Zac Area:Florida Lines:59 Added:11/22/2017

Sarasota-based medical marijuana company AltMed Florida is poised to begin growing its first crop of marijuana at a facility in Apollo Beach.

The Florida Department of Health authorized Plants of Ruskin -- the nursery that is partnering with AltMed -- to begin operating the cultivation facility.

"We have worked diligently to build what we believe will be the most advanced indoor cultivation facility in Florida, and one of the finest in the country," AltMed CEO John Tipton said in a press release Monday.

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31 US FL: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Now Open In Palm Beach CountyTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Swisher, Skyler Area:Florida Lines:100 Added:11/14/2017

Palm Beach County's first medical marijuana dispensary is now open for business.

At noon Tuesday, Knox Medical opened the center at 1 South Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, across the street from Lake Worth City Hall.

The dispensary occupies a former bank building in downtown Lake Worth, and the interior resembles a dentist or doctor's office. Patients check in at the foyer and then can proceed to a room with glass display cases showcasing Knox Medical's products.

Knox Medical CEO Jose Javier Hidalgo said the new dispensary will improve access to medical cannabis for everyone in South Florida.

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32 US FL: Florida Moves Toward More Medical Marijuana LicensesWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:09/23/2017

TALLAHASSEE -- Seemingly learning from past mistakes, state health officials have issued an emergency rule outlining the application process for new medical-marijuana vendors seeking to receive licenses in two weeks.

The new rule, published Wednesday and going into effect immediately, outsources the evaluation of the applications to "subject matter experts," requires "blind testing" of the applications, and includes a detailed application form --- all departures from the Department of Health's previous medical-marijuana regulations that spawned a series of legal and administrative challenges.

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33US FL: One Florida Bank Is Willing To Risk It All On Cannabis WhenThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

Opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Florida naturally comes with a lot of red tape.

Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance at the federal level, despite the 29 states that have legalized it for recreational or medicinal use in recent years. That makes it nearly impossible for banks to fund marijuana distributing companies, which in turn makes it hard for those companies to sign a lease for a store or warehouse or even get insurance.

But one Orlando area community bank is willing to take on the risk.

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34US FL: Column: Lane: On Medical Pot, Public Way Ahead Of LeadersSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL) Author:Lane, Mark Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

On medical marijuana, the public is way ahead of officialdom.

Statewide, 71 percent of Florida voters voted in favor of the medical marijuana amendment last November. In Flagler County, the margin was the same. In Volusia County, 73 percent voted to approve.

Overwhelming support. Particularly in a state like Florida which is known sharp political divisions on most issues. Even so, the Legislature was so reluctant to pass legislation putting the amendment into effect that nothing was approved during the regular spring session.

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35US FL: Column: Romano: The 'Morally Irresponsible'' Strategy To FightSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Romano, John Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

The girls knew the rules, and especially the consequences. Their father would never raise a hand to them, but he was an aficionado of understated punishments.

Grab a pen and paper, he would tell his two daughters, and come sit at the kitchen table. Write down what you did wrong, and how you plan on correcting it. Sign it, date it and make sure you spelled everything correctly.

Frank Vazquez fretted enough about Cylea and Leliana that he wouldn't let them spend the night with friends because of all of the things that might go on in other homes. And he was like a doorman at a fancy high-rise when it came to who got past the threshold to visit his girls.

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36 US FL: Nazi Gang Members Arrested After Raid On Florida Trailer NetsWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Theisen, Tiffini Area:Florida Lines:38 Added:08/09/2017

Authorities found an exhaustive list of weapons, drug paraphernalia and Nazi propaganda when they raided a trailer Tuesday morning in a rural pocket of west central Florida, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Five felons, two of whom authorities described as documented gang members, were arrested after deputies and a SWAT team served a search warrant on the suburban New Port Richey mobile home, WFLA-Channel 8 reported.

Inside the trailer, which is partially obscured by thick vegetation along a wooded street, were four firearms, ammunition, "hundreds of pages" of miscellaneous bank account and personal identification information, credit cards, veterans' ID cards, insurance cards, vehicle titles, "hundreds of pages of American Nazi Family propaganda (rules, hierarchy, oaths, etc)," opiates, meth, and drug paraphernalia including needles and scales, deputies said.

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37 US FL: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Taking Root In South FloridaWed, 26 Jul 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Randle, Caitlin Area:Florida Lines:105 Added:07/26/2017

What's legal, what's not, and what we're waiting on in this time between the passage of a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and a July deadline for the Department of Health to institute rules and regulations.

What's legal, what's not, and what we're waiting on in this time between the passage of a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and a July deadline for the Department of Health to institute rules and regulations.

During the past six months, the number of doctors in Florida who can recommend marijuana to patients has more than doubled from 374 to 819 as of June 2, according to state records. In Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, the number also more than doubled from 130 to 303.

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38 US FL: Orange Park Town Council To Consider Allowing MedicalMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:83 Added:07/24/2017

ORANGE PARK - Town Council soon will take up whether to lift Orange Park's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, and if so, where such establishments may open up shop within the town limits.

The Orange Park Planning and Zoning Board voting 3-1 with one member absent July 13 recommended the council allow such dispensaries provided they comply with certain conditions. The board's recommendation is non-binding.

Under Florida law, medical marijuana dispensaries are treated as pharmacies for zoning purposes. That means wherever a regular pharmacy is allowed to operate, so is a medical marijuana dispensary.

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39 US FL: Oviedo To Soon Allow Medical Marijuana DispensariesWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Comas, Martin E. Area:Florida Lines:58 Added:07/21/2017

Oviedo City Council members this week agreed to let the city's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expire Aug. 5, making it likely that Oviedo will become the first Seminole County municipality to allow such businesses.

Council members also directed city staffers Monday to draft an ordinance that will treat medical marijuana dispensaries under the same zoning regulations as pharmacies.

Pharmacies in Oviedo are allowed to operate only in certain office and commercial zoning districts, which are mostly located along major thoroughfares. Council members are expected to vote on a new ordinance in the coming weeks to allow pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries to operate only in certain commercial zoning districts, but not in zoning districts for offices.

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40 US FL: Opioid Use Increasing Number Of Foster Children InFri, 14 Jul 2017
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL) Author:Williamson, Amanda Area:Florida Lines:290 Added:07/19/2017

The blond toddler pounced from the floor without warning and reached for a toy deep within Savannah Woods' entertainment center.

She remained on the plush, beige carpet, her eyes following the toddler through the room. In attempt to rein in the child's energy, Woods called him back to her side and asked him to name a smiling woman in the picture she held.

"Momma," the two-year-old said. The photograph captured Woods and her wife, Carly.

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41 US FL: Real-Time Drug Tests At Music Festivals Show 'Molly' OftenWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Cha, Ariana Eunjung Area:Florida Lines:94 Added:07/14/2017

'MOLLY'

Scientists, public health experts and volunteers working with them have started to show up at music festivals, concerts, raves and other public gatherings where illicit drugs are frequently used. Equipped with special chemical testing kits, they help attendees test pills and powder for purity in real time so people can make better informed decisions about whether to take them.

The practice - more common in Europe than in the United States - is controversial, and the debate has been similar to the early days of needle-exchange programs in the 1980s. Proponents argue harm reduction. They say people are more likely to reject taking drugs to get high if the substances do not contain what they think they do, which reduces the risk of overdose and other harmful effects. Critics say such programs implicitly encourage the use of illegal drugs.

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42 US FL: Medical Marijuana Bill Passes In Florida LegislatureThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:148 Added:07/10/2017

The medical marijuana industry officially has its guidelines with the passage of a bill out of the Florida Legislature on the last day of a three-day special session.

The votes were 29-6 in the Senate and 103-9 in the House. The few no votes were mostly Democrats who wanted fewer restrictions in the bill, but also a few Republicans who remain against the idea of medical marijuana on principle.

Gov. Rick Scott said he "absolutely" will sign the bill. That means big changes for patients, caregivers, doctors and growers, compared with the far more limited medical marijuana law passed by the Legislature in 2014, which resulted in seven grower/dispensers in the state.

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43US FL: John Morgan Sues State For Blocking The Smoking Of MedicalThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Klas, Mary Ellen Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/07/2017

TALLAHASSEE -- Arguing that Florida legislators violated voters' intent when they prohibited smoking for the medical use of marijuana, the author of the state's medical marijuana amendment sued the state on Thursday to throw out the implementing law.

John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who spearheaded and financed the successful campaign to make medical access to cannabis a constitutional right, filed the lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court Thursday morning, asking the court to declare the law implementing the 2016 constitutional amendment unenforceable.

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44US FL: Pro-Pot Forces Calm Waters As Uss Maryjane Sails ThroughThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Morgan, Philip Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/06/2017

TEMPLE TERRACE -- Dropping a giant joint in favor of the "USS Maryjane" seemed to smooth the waters for a pro-marijuana entry in this year's Temple Terrace Fourth of July Parade.

The new float designed by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws featured the flag-festooned ship crewed by some military veterans and painted with the slogan, "Hemp for Victory."

The theme plays off a World War II film from the Department of Agriculture that praised the nation's hemp farmers for their work in creating strong ropes from the stalks of marijuana plants for the armed forces.

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45 US FL: Handyman Jailed For Months After Cops Mistake Drywall ForTue, 27 Jun 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:Florida Lines:44 Added:07/01/2017

It was a miscarriage of dust-ice.

A handyman spent three months behind bars after cops believed they'd found cocaine sprinkled around his car -- until test results later proved it was clean, according to reports.

Karlos Cash, 57, says the white powder was actually drywall -- just as he'd been telling them all along.

"I know for a fact (that) it's drywall because I'm a handyman," he told WFTV Orlando. "I said that continuously during the arrest stop."

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46 US FL: Desperate For Help, Heroin Addicts Get 'Hijacked' To FloridaFri, 23 Jun 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Lubrano, Alfred Area:Florida Lines:208 Added:06/23/2017

Alfred LubranoWest Chester addiction psychologist Drew Alikakos dials a number for a local addiction treatment center that he suspects has been illicitly re-routed to a Florida facility. His own phone number was "hijacked" in such a manner.

Alfred Lubrano works for the enterprise team. Previously, he wrote about poverty, and before that, he was a feature writer and columnist.

Last September, West Chester addiction psychologist Drew Alikakos made a jarring discovery: His patients were disappearing.

Gallery:

Philly and Conrail to clean up 'heroin hellscape'

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47 US FL: Teacher Alerted Drug Dealers As Revenge On Cheating HusbandWed, 21 Jun 2017
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:29 Added:06/21/2017

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida teacher tipped off drug dealers that her detective husband was investigating them in order to get revenge for his alleged infidelity.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday that federal prosecutors want an eight-year sentence for 31-year-old Porsha Session, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to obstruction.

In 2013, Session searched her then-husband's work email and found information about a drug investigation. She says he was cheating on her, and that to get back at him, she used a co-worker's phone at the elementary school where she worked to call one of the dealers and alert him that an informant had infiltrated his group. The informant later killed himself.

Her attorneys are asking that she be sentenced to house arrest at her June 28 hearing.

[end]

48 US FL: A Florida Sheriff Catches Attention, And Some Heat, With AnWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fortin, Jacey Area:Florida Lines:138 Added:04/15/2017

Maybe it was the ski masks that did it.

Or it could have been the steely look in the eyes of Lake County, Fla., Sheriff Peyton Grinnell as he deadpanned: "We are coming for you. Run."

Perhaps it was the muted background music: an eerie melody that wouldn't have been out of place in a Batman movie.

In the end, what could have been an unremarkable public service announcement about opioid abuse in Lake County spread widely on the internet, garnering about a million views on the Facebook page of the sheriff's office, where it was first posted Friday. It sparked concerns about police militarization and drew more than a few comparisons to Islamic State recruitment videos.

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49US FL: Trulieve Opens Medical Marijuana Dispensary In TampaThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Marrero, Tony Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2017

TAMPA -- Four years ago, Bree Morris faced a choice between pain relief and being close to family.

Permanently disabled from a car crash that injured her back, Morris, 53, moved from Florida to Colorado after voters here rejected a medical marijuana referendum in 2012. She left her children and grandchildren with a hunch that access to medical cannabis in Colorado would work better than the opiates that had turned her into a "zombie."

"From that day on, my quality of life changed," she said. "I started doing walks around the park. I started feeling better about life. I'm able to talk and be alert and do things and even go back to school to earn my bachelor's."

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50 US FL: Florida Health Officials Begin Medical Marijuana RulesTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:30 Added:01/18/2017

Caption Davie imposes temporary moratorium on medical marijuana centers

Florida health officials have started the rules-making process that will expand those eligible to receive medical marijuana.

The Department of Health on Tuesday published the proposed rules and announced that public hearings will be held in five cities Feb. 6-9.

Patients with one of 10 medical conditions will be able to receive medical marijuana but it does not allow for more distributing organizations. There are currently seven licensed, with one more case under an administrative challenge.

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