State list shows where medical marijuana might be grown in Florida

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

One form of medical marijuana is about to be signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Another form might soon become legal, thanks to Florida voters.
 
Channel 9 investigative reporter Christopher Heath has found a list of places that could grow medical marijuana.
 
The type of medical marijuana is that is about to become legal is known as "Charlotte's Web.'" It's not the kind designed to offer the user a high.
 
Documents revealing the state guideline for growing marijuana give a look at just how Florida plans to tackle the issue of who can grow pot and where, including right here in central Florida.
 
The decision by lawmakers to pass their own medical marijuana bill, ahead of the state constitutional amendment vote, has produced a list of 39 nurseries across the state who are all eligible to grow marijuana according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.
 
Under the plan, the Florida Department of Health would choose five nurseries across the state, including one in central Florida, to grow and sell the non-euphoric medical marijuana.
 
"As you know, it can be abused tremendously and we have to understand how to control that abuse," said Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.
 
For the last year Channel 9 has reported on concerns by city leaders when it comes to regulating the drug.
 
The state's answer to that appears to be limited growth.
 
According to state documents, the five nurseries must have each been in business for at least 30 years to qualify, a provision to keep start-up pot growers from popping up.
 
In central Florida three nurseries in Apopka, one in Eustis and one in Winter Haven all meet the state standards, although it's unclear which may pursue the state license.
 
"What we've learned from California is what we like and don't like," said attorney John Morgan.
 
Morgan, who is pushing for the constitutional amendment, told Channel 9 in an interview last year that Florida will benefit from other states and their approach to pot.
 
State officials said they are trying to use existing businesses, not create a new industry. They said that is part of the reason the standard is set so high. That standard includes also includes the ability to grow more than 400,000 plants.
 
There is no word on when the state will release the list of selected growers