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Regulators to convene on medical marijuana rules

State medical marijuana regulators are slated to hold three rulemaking hearings Monday in Tallahassee.

The Department of Health regulates the drug through its Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

The first hearing, at 9 a.m., will cover a proposed rule on the “Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Supplemental Licensing Fee,” the “annual payment by a registered (provider) to cover the (state’s) costs of administering” the law governing cannabis.

The fee has been set at $174,844, “due within 45 days of the effective date of this rule.”

The second, at 11 a.m., is on change of ownership applications, “establishing a procedure for the Florida Department of Health to process ownership transfer requests made by a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC).” (Florida has a vertically-integrated market, meaning the same provider grows, processes and sells its own marijuana.)

One such deal was just in the news. Last week, MedMen Enterprises Inc. of Los Angeles announced it had agreed to pay $53 million for the license held by Central Florida’s Treadwell Nursery, which is now authorized to grow but not yet sell. A Department of Health spokesman said the agency “will review” the proposed sale once it’s received.

Here’s one excerpt: If a provider “intends to claim any exemption from public records disclosure … (as) part of its transfer request, it shall indicate on the request the specific sections for which it claims an exemption and the statutory basis for the exemption … All identified trade secrets are subject to review by the department.”

The third hearing, at 1 p.m., is on an MMTC “variance procedure.” It would “establish a procedure for the Department of Health to grant variances from the representations made in a medical marijuana treatment center’s initial application for registration.”

For example, if that rule is approved, a provider who had originally applied to use a certain marijuana processing procedure can later ask to use a newer, better technology.

All three hearings take place in Room 301 at the department’s offices in the Capital Circle Office Center, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Tallahassee.

Written By

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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