Entrepreneurs aren’t waiting for lawmakers to plan the future of medical cannabis – Tampabay.com
WESLEY CHAPEL — Mute the sound and it would have felt like a real estate seminar. The hotel conference room was half-filled. It was an older crowd, professionally dressed. Note pads sat on top of the tables, which hid the khakis below.
The topic, though, was cannabis — don’t get caught calling it marijuana around here — at the first Florida Medical Cannabis Conference and Exhibition, which started Friday and runs through the weekend at Saddlebrook Resort.
The conference spoke to the rising legitimacy of cannabis, and sought to educate those interested in using cannabis for medical treatment, or very interested in the business opportunities of doing so.
In other words, it was people who aren’t waiting around for Tallahassee to make a decision.
“This is going to happen,” said Dr. Allan Zubkin, a Clermont physician who is already certified to recommend medical marijuana to patients under Florida’s Compassionate Use Act. “I want to be part of the revolution.”
The revolution started last year in Florida, when voters passed Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment designed to expand medical marijuana legalization beyond the limited use allowed under the Compassionate Use Act. But earlier this month, the Florida Legislature failed to pass rules regulating its medical use before departing Tallahassee.
Negotiations over regulations that are needed to implement the amendment stalled because of disagreements on the number of dispensaries each marijuana grower would be allowed to open. The Legislature will either reconvene in a special session this summer or punt it and let the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use draw up those rules.
Until then, there’s work companies can do to prepare themselves for when the rules come online, said Carlos Hermida, executive vice president of Florida Cannabis Coalition.
And, he said,