Judge Rejects Lottery For Florida Medical Marijuana Growers, Orders Health Department To Write New Rules

FLORIDA:  From the beginning, AltMed, a Lakewood Ranch-based medical marijuana company, has preferred a merit-based selection process over the controversial lottery to pick the nurseries that would grow and dispense this type of cannabis.

After an administrative law judge’s ruling on Friday to reject the lottery, AltMed co-executive chairman Michael Smullen said he is “very happy that there isn’t going to be a lottery.” Judge W. David Watkins of the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings rejected the lottery, a decision that coFlorida Division of Administrative Hearings uld also impact when the marijuana will be available to patients.

“I knew that the lottery became strictly a chance-based scenario and it wasn’t merit-based or experience-based. And to me, I had to object to it,” Watkins stated in his order, which he issued after he reviewed chemical and safety issues and testimony from growers.

Now the Florida Department of Health must start from scratch, rewriting and mapping out a new plan for growing, processing and selling a form of medical marijuana, known as Charlotte’s Web. This will cause a delay in being able to grow and display the medical marijuana, which has been AltMed’s concern from the beginning with bringing any kind of lawsuit against the rules, Smullen said.