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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ag Dept database doesn't track 30-year farmers cited in marijuana bill

The last-minute amendment tucked into the House marijuana bill is getting some opposition in the Senate, where Democrats want to strip it from the bill when it's up for final passage in that chamber today.

The provision requires that nurseries with inventories of over 400,000 plants and who have been operating in Florida for 30 years are the only ones who qualify to be distributors of medical marijuana. It was amended to the bill with no discussion by Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which tracks nursery registration, has a database that only dates back to 1988. They told the Herald/Times they are going through their paper records to come up with a list to see who qualifies. Meanwhile, here's what the database shows: 

* 30 nurseries with an inventory of over 400,000 that have been in business 26 years or longer.

* 33 nurseries with an inventory of over 400,000 that have been in business 20-25 years.

* 34 nurseries with an inventory of over 400,000 that have been in business 1-20 years.

So who qualifies? Caldwell said he has been told there are 35 nurseries who fit the requirements. DACS said it will try to get a list by the end of the day.

[Last modified: Friday, May 2, 2014 11:42am]

    

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