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Some Lawmakers Question Last Minute Additions To Medical Cannabis Bill

Nick Evans

Provisions in the medical marijuana legislation approved during last week’s special session are raising eyebrows.  The bill contains language seemingly written to favor specific companies.

State officials will add 10 new medical cannabis nurseries under legislation approved last week.  One passage gives the orchid grower Sun Bulb a license after it came within one point of winning a permit in 2015.  Another gives preference to applicants that own former citrus facilities.  Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Miami) is one of six in his chamber to oppose the bill, and he isn’t happy about favoring the citrus industry.

“I think it was completely unnecessary,” Garcia says, before allowing, “It’s part of the process, everyone has a right to amend the bill.”

“We’ve known,” he goes on, “this has been out for quite some time, but at the end of the day the voters voted for a bill, a constitutional amendment that didn’t meet their expectations, and that’s why I voted against it.”

The citrus language was a late addition that came after Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) entered the negotiations. 

Governor Rick Scott says he’ll sign the bill.

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Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.