The ballot language gives doctors the power to order marijuana for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” In contrast, the proposed rule would limit the unspecified conditions to those “determined by the Florida Board of Medicine,” something Pollara called the regulation’s “single most problematic” component. “This is not one of those things that is up for interpretation by a court or anyone else,” Pollara said. Among other issues, the proposed rule would maintain the state’s current cap on marijuana vendors, limited now to seven licensed “dispensing organizations,” to treat an estimated 500,000 patients who would be eligible under Amendment 2. While the proposed language may be amenable to the handful of operators already doing business in the state, the plan is anathema to those hoping to gain entree into Florida under Amendment 2′s expansion of the industry. “It looks like the Department of Health is protecting the existing monopolies. interview skills by jayaI hope the Legislature chooses to act in creating a free market system. The Legislature has a chance to change that,” said Ron Watson, a lobbyist who represents AltMed, a Sarasota-based company founded by former pharmaceutical industry executives who have obtained a medical marijuana license in Arizona and are seeking one in Florida. The health department will hold public hearings to take input on the rule during the second week of February, with meetings in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee. Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said state officials “look forward to receiving input from all interested stakeholders” about the proposed rule. “That’s why we’re having the five public meetings,” supplemented by the ability to provide comments online, she said. “We look forward to everybody’s contributions,” Gambineri said.
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