Surterra Wellness, one of the seven original licensed medical marijuana companies in Florida, has filed a petition in an effort to force the Florida Department of Health to allow edible marijuana products in the state.
Florida statutes require the department of health to essentially make the rules and govern the ingredients, shapes and forms of any edible marijuana product, but the department has yet to craft the rules for this kind of product.
A new law passed during a June special session allows edible cannabis products to be sold in Florida dispensaries as long as they are not geared toward children. Surterra, which operates a growing facility and dispensary in Tampa, is challenging the health department to start a rule-making process so edible products can be sold as soon as possible, according to a news release.
"This means that no Florida patient will have access to legal marijuana edibles until the department of health makes these rules, and they have yet to initiate that on their own," the release reads. This petition is an effect to jump start that process.
"Many patients have been seeking edible products because it is the best format for them to find relief," Surterra Florida president Wesley Reynolds said in a statement. "Surterra Wellness has and will continue to fight for access to medical cannabis, and this is just a continuation of that cause. The more available options for people, the more likely they will be able to use a cannabis product instead of highly addictive and easily abused opiates."
"We fully intend on following the law. We remain committed to moving this process forward, and will do so in an expedient and thoughtful manner," said Mara Gambineria, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health. "The department is working diligently to implement the many requirements."
Marijuana edibles have come under fire recently in states like Colorado because of their shape and form. Colorado banned all edible products that resemble animals or fruit, like gummy bears, to make the products less appealing to children.