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US (FL): Nurseries challenge marijuana licensee selections

Nurseries have filed more than a dozen challenges to the medical-marijuana licenses granted by Florida health officials, with some asking that the licensing process be put on hold until their petitions are heard in court.

As of Monday's 5 p.m. deadline to challenge the licenses, the Department of Health had received 13 petitions, according to agency spokeswoman Mara Gambineri.

Jacksonville's Loop's Nursery, Plants of Ruskin, Tornello Landscape, Redlands Nursery, Alpha Foliage, Dewar's, and McCrory's Sunny Hill Nursery on Monday joined three other nurseries that filed petitions late last week challenging the award of the five licenses. Some of the nurseries filed multiple challenges.

A three-member panel comprised of the health department's Office of Compassionate Use Executive Director Christian Bax; his predecessor, Patricia Nelson; and agency accountant Ellyn Hutson late last month named the winners of the licenses, one in each of five regions of the state. The winners were chosen from more than two dozen applications.

But the challenges question the panel's scoring and also accuse the department of failing to give due process by not allowing the competitors to defend their presentations before the licenses were awarded.

Read the full article at WJCT

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