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Health News Florida

State Will Not Appeal Pot Decision

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WUSF Public Media

The state Department of Health will not appeal an administrative law judge's decision that struck down a proposed framework for regulating Florida's new medical-marijuana industry.

Nathan Dunn, a department spokesman, said in an email Monday that the agency will hold a workshop Dec. 30 in Orlando as it again tries to develop a rule.

Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott this spring approved a bill that will allow strains of non-euphoric marijuana, which supporters say can help people with certain types of conditions, such as children with severe forms of epilepsy.

The Department of Health is responsible for developing a rule that provides details about how the state will regulate the industry.

Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins last month sided with the state's largest nursery and other growers who challenged the department's proposed rule. In part, Watkins rejected the department's plan to use a lottery-type process to pick five licensees that will grow, process and distribute the marijuana low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD.

Grant Qualifies In Bid to Regain House Seat

Former Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, and a write-in candidate qualified Monday to run in a special election in state House District 64 --- a special election that stems from a legal battle earlier this year about the eligibility of the write-in.

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Credit Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives
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Florida House of Representatives
Rep. James Grant, center.

Qualifying began Monday morning and is scheduled to end at noon Tuesday. Grant and write-in Daniel John Matthews qualified, according to the state Division of Elections website. Republican Miriam Steinberg also has opened a campaign account for the special election, though she was not listed as being qualified late Monday afternoon.

Grant received about 59.5 percent of the vote as he ran against Steinberg in November. But the House rejected the results because of a dispute about whether Matthews was eligible to be a candidate.

The 1st District Court of Appeal in October overturned a lower-court ruling that said Matthews could not run for the seat. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said last month the House's decision against seating Grant was meant to break a logjam between the courts and Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

A special primary election in District 64 would be held Feb. 10, with the special general election April 21. The district includes parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.