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Orlando Hosting Marijuana Business Convention Friday


June 5, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando - Medical marijuana advocates are gathering in Orlando Friday for a convention on the business of marijuana. CannaBiz Day Orlando runs all day at the Royal Caribe Hotel and features presentations by lawyers, activists and cultivators.

[The "Charlotte's Web" bill will only allow for marijuana to be sold as oil. Only four dispensaries will be allowed in the state. Photo: eggrole, Flickr]

Medical marijuana advocates are gathering in Orlando Friday for a convention on the business of marijuana.

CannaBiz Day Orlando runs all day at the Royal Caribe Hotel and features presentations by lawyers, activists and cultivators.

Peter Sessa, the chief operating officer of the Florida Cannabis Coalition, says the event is in response to two bills which could change the legal status of marijuana in Florida.

Governor Rick Scott says he will sign a medical marijuana bill – SB1030 - on his desk, known as “Charlotte’s Web,” which will legalize cannabis with low THC and high CBD contents for cancer patients and children with degenerative diseases.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for the euphoria marijuana is typically associated with, while CBD, or cannabidiol, its non-euphoric counterpart, has been closely linked with medical applications. “Charlotte’s Web” limits THC content to 0.8% content, contrasted with typical marijuana that has around 15%.

The bill passed through both houses with bipartisan support.

Amendment 2, which is much broader in its regulation, allowing for high potency marijuana to be cultivated and sold to patients with a physician’s recommendation, is a ballot amendment which will be decided by voters in November.

Sessa says it’s important Florida not become a county and municipal battleground, as has been the case in California.

“It’s kind of like the wild west there,” Sessa says.

“Technically dispensaries are illegal in over ninety percent of California, but they still operate because it’s illegal to have a dispensary, so they have things called collectives.”

Collectives, or groups of people who hire someone to grow cannabis for them, are one of the many ways the law is circumvented in California.

This is one of the top concerns for making sure Florida doesn’t make the same mistakes California did, says Sessa.

 

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