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There Have Never Been More Opportunities to Get Into the Marijuana Business… especially in Florida. 

The cannabis business is about more than growing and selling cannabis. It is an entire ecosystem of companies and professionals that make it all work.

There's no question that Florida's medical marijuana laws are shaping up to be some of the most restrictive to small scale cultivators or dispensaries. Seven dispensing organizations / medical marijuana treatment centers is something new to state cannabis laws - no other state is set up this way, it would be uniquely Florida (but then again, what isn't).

But there has never been more opportunity in legal marijuana then there is right now at this moment in Florida. And it's only going to get bigger.Continue reading

Drug Free America Foundation wants Marijuana Special Session

The Drug Free America Foundation is adding its voice to those calling for a Special Session on Medical Marijuana Implementation, according to a Monday press release.

“It is critical that our leaders call a special session to complete the unfinished business of implementing Amendment 2,” said Calvina Fay, executive director of the Foundation. “Moreover, it is short-sighted to think that the lack of legislation to implement Amendment 2 will stop the marijuana industry from operating.”

Fay, among other examples, cited a recent cease and desist letter from the Department of Health to Trulieve, telling it to stop selling its whole-flower cannabis product meant for vaping that also could be broken down and smoked.

“These and other similar issues are all addressed in compromise legislation that died when members of the legislature could not come to an agreement on the number of dispensaries allowed for each licensee,” Fay added.

“It is imperative that our legislators come together, take action and not allow the marijuana industry to operate as it does in some states, with no regards to public health and safety.”

A Special Session could be called jointly by Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, but Negron has not yet made up his mind whether to convene lawmakers.

The regular 2017 Legislative Session ended earlier this month without agreement on a bill.

Original Post: Florida Politics

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How Much Do the New Florida Regulations Really Affect Your Opportunity in the Industry

In reality the only thing illegal about cannabis in Florida is the THC. Three or four of almost 100 cannabinoids are the only components law enforcement really cares about.

In Florida, if you are below .03% THC you are considered Hemp oil. While THC (and sister cannabinoids THCa & TCHv) are responsible for many benefits, it's not everything. Recreationally, if you want to get high, then you are going to want THC.

But as it turns out people would rather feel better than get high. That’s why the price of CBD, another cannabinoid, has exceeded the cost of THC extract over the past year.

You’ve heard of CBD, but here’s the thing. CBD on is just one cannabinoid. Full spectrum hemp oil contains every cannabinoid with very low levels of THC.

And of course, just like there are different cannabinoid profiles for different strains of cannabis, there are different cannabinoid profiles for different hemp oils.

But have you seen that on the shelf yet? You've seen CBD. Have you seen specific cannabinoid profiles to help with certain conditions? Specific cannabinoid profiles to help with daily balance and wellness? You haven't because they aren't there yet. But there are coming and they represent a bigger industry than THC.

Cannabinoid therapy represents a HUGE opportunity, because again feeling better is more popular than getting high.

Cannabinoids are popular because they help people feel better with only healthy side effects like decreased inflammation and pain alleviation. Balancing your body's endocannabinoid system leading to overall health is a pretty great side effect.

Hemp oil can be even richer in certain cannabinoids than actual cultivated cannabis. Several medical companies are beginning clinical trials on just CBD and CBG to develop medicines to treat MS in 2018. It's the future of medicine and health.

Legalization of cannabis has paved the way for education. For millions to learn the benefits of cannabinoid therapy.

Come learn about the great opportunities for you here in Florida at CannaDay Tampa Bay on June 3rd.

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Florida Health Dept. bans sale of whole-flower vaporizer cup

Florida’s Department of Health on Monday ordered a Quincy-based dispensary to quit selling a medical cannabis product that could potentially be broken down and made into pot that can be smoked.

Trulieve began selling its first whole-flower cannabis product meant for vaping last week at five retail dispensaries and through home delivery. The buds in the Entourage Multi Indica vaporizer cup, however, could also be used in joints, pipes or bongs.

The Department of Health authorized Trulieve to sell sealed vaporizer cups containing marijuana. However, Office of Compassionate Use Director Christian Bax said in a cease and desist letter to Trulieve that the mesh caps can be removed with minimal effort and cannot be reattached.

Vaping is allowed under state law, but smoking is prohibited. Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said the company had issued warnings to patients that the product should only be used for vaping.

The department also found in a tour of one of Trulieve’s retail facilities that a vaporizer it advertises for use with the product is sold only online. Trulieve also was not able to show how to use the product with the vaporizer.

Currently, low-THC cannabis can be used by patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic seizures and chronic muscle spasms. The law was expanded last year to include patients with terminal conditions. It also allowed them to use more potent strains.

The rules from a medical marijuana constitutional amendment passed last November, which will expand the list of conditions for which patients can receive pot, must be in place by July and enacted by October.

Original Post: The Cannabist

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Trump is planning to effectively kill the office that has traditionally spearheaded the ‘War on Drugs’

The Trump administration plans to cut 96% of the budget of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), effectively eliminating the federal agency that has traditionally been used to spearhead the war on drugs, according to multiple media reports.

The White House Office of Management and Budget's proposed fiscal year 2018 budget reduces the funding request for ONDCP from $388 million in 2017 to $24 million, according to a leaked memo first reported by CBS News.

The cuts would eliminate approximately half ONDCP's staff, around 33 employees, as well as "intelligence, research and budget functions at the agency, as well as the Model State Drug Laws and Drug Court grant programs," CBS reported Friday.

"These cuts are frankly heartbreaking and, if carried out, cause us to lose many good people who contribute greatly to ONDCP's mission and core activities," Acting Director Richard Baum wrote in an email to ONDCP staff obtained by CBS.

Baum added that news is "discouraging," but told staff "not to panic" and that "events are unfolding."

In addition, the budget proposes to eliminate multiple grant programs administered by ONDCP, including the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and the Drug-Free Communities Support program, which the memo called "duplicative of other efforts across the Federal government and supplant State and local responsibilities."

Staff was notified of the budget cuts on Friday. Baum, who was aware of the impending cuts last week, had reportedly been lobbying Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, to keep the agency's budget intact.

In February, when rumors first began circulating that Trump might cut ONDCP's budget, a coalition of medical and drug policy organizations sent a letter to Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, urging for ONDCP to remain at the center of efforts to fight drug use.

"At a time when drugs now kill more people than firearms or car crashes, it is more important than ever for ONDCP to remain a strong voice in the White House and a visible presence nationally," the letter read.

But some drug policy experts are cautiously optimistic at the agency's elimination.

"Unfortunately, the ONDCP has a history of advancing predominatively counter-productive policies," Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, told Business Insider, noting that DPA has supported the "dismantling" of the agency.

Smith noted that elimination of the agency could actually accelerate efforts to treat drug use as a public health, rather than criminal issue, if it means less funding for programs like HIDTA.

But that depends, Smith said, on if the nation's drug policy is in the hands of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has called for cracking down on drug offenders, or someone else.

The ONDCP was first created in 1988 by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act at the height of the crack epidemic and the so-called War on Drugs.

Tom Angell, the founder of pro- marijuana legalization group Marijuana Majority, told Business Insider that it was only during the last years of the Obama Administration, under the direction of then-ONDCP director Michael Botticelli, that the agency made positive efforts towards harm reduction and treatment policies. Traditionally, according to Smith, the agency has been at the forefront of efforts to prosecute and stigmatize drug use.

ONDCP's proposed elimination comes after Trump signed an executive order in March to establish a national commission to address the opioid crisis, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The commission, which was due to receive "administrative support" from ONDCP, was tasked with coming up with strategies to address the crisis.

Many experts said the president's action is "underwhelming."

The reports come one day after Rep. Tom Marino announced that he was withdrawing from consideration for the appointment of ONDCP director, the position more informally known as the Drug Czar, after more than a month of speculation that he would serve. The Pennsylvania Republican was one of Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Original Post: Business Insider

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Southeast Cannabis Convention & Expo Coming to Greater Ft. Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center June 9 – 11

The Florida Cannabis Coalition and the Southeast Cannabis Conference & Expo are teaming up to bring one of the biggest cannabis conferences to ever come to the South.

This year's conference will be the first held since the finalizing of Florida's new medical marijuana law and this will be the focus of the discussion with experts provided by the local leaders on the topic, the Florida Cannabis Coalition.

As of 2016 the United States now has 29 medical marijuana States and nine with adult use.  Conferences like these are leading to profound changes in marijuana policy not just in Florida but nationwide. Big questions are being formulated analyzed and answered by those on the ground. Advances in marijuana policy may or may not even proceed to adult use one day, the future is wide open.

This first annual Conference on Medical Cannabis will bring together leaders in the field of medical marijuana policy, industry and application for a comprehensive overview of this rapidly expanding area of economics, research and development.  Among these leaders will be famed television personality, and medical marijuana patient and entrepreneur Montel Williams.  Who will discuss his personal journey with cannabis during his keynote address.

The conference will cover a broad set of topics relevant to the pursuit of better decisions involving medical marijuana use, business, and policy the conference draws in experts from numerous disciplines, doctors, politicians, celebrities, businessmen, investment advisors, advocates, out of state practitioners, this will be a weekend filled with information.

This conference is a gathering of entrepreneurs, patients, job seekers, advocates, scientists, doctors, others working in field and just curious citizens who just want to know more as Florida races toward a more advanced marijuana policy.

"This year's conference is particularly important as Florida is on the cutting edge of medical marijuana policy reform," said conference Co-Chair Demitri Downing, an ex-prosecutor who helped design the emerging market expo.

"Advances in basic policy are creating economic and health care opportunities as rapidly as the States can understand and implement them. The practical applications are subject to the citizen's imagination! This is a rare time in human history and this conference provides a setting to be inspired! In addition to the growth in basic medical rights, we are also seeing increased interest from the business and venture capital sectors seeking to turn the results of the policy changes into real-world uses, its quite exciting," Downing said.

Downing encourages the public, policy makers and community influencers to attend.

"The only equivalent I can compare it too is too imagine if someone allowed you as a high school senior to spend a week auditing any and all classes at the local University. What would you learn? This is more knowledge than you will know what to do with and the ability to discuss in an open setting helps vet the good from the bad information," Downing said.

This year's keynote speaker will be Montel Williams, the original celebrity advocate for medical marijuana, himself a 17 year patient winning the battle against MS. Other major names to be announced in coming weeks as more and more people watch the changes in Tallahassee.

Everyone is invited to attend the Southeast Cannabis Conference & Expo, held at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center from June 9-11.

Admission begins at $50 per day.

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 Numerous athletes will also participate in a special session during the conference and speak on the topic of "Pro-Athletes and Cannabis."

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