Florida Department of Health

Nurseries hoping to grow and dispense cannabis under Florida’s low-THC marijuana law will have to wait until at least March to make their pitch to the Department of Health.  Patients will have to wait even longer—until those nurseries can deliver a product suitably low in THC.  

Department officials met with stakeholders Tuesday in Orlando.  This was the first meeting since many of the Department’s previous rules were invalidated by an administrative law judge in November. 

Six people who recently traveled from Ebola-affected regions are under twice-daily monitoring by the Florida Health Department. The state continues preparing in case someone tests positive.

No cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Florida, and all six of the people being monitored are considered low-risk. Gov. Rick Scott says just under 100 hospitals have completed special Ebola training, and he hopes more will do so.

Group Launches Another Challenge To Pot Rule

Sep 18, 2014

A trade association Wednesday challenged the Florida Department of Health's plan for carrying out a new medical-marijuana law, adding to two challenges filed earlier in the week.

The Florida Medical Cannabis Association is asking an administrative law judge to reject a department rule unveiled this month. The earlier challenges were filed by nurseries Plants of Ruskin, Inc., and Costa Farms.

The cases stem from a law passed this spring that allows strains of marijuana low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD.

Regulators Put Pot Rule on Hold

Sep 7, 2014

Health regulators will almost certainly delay a rule that will eventually create the framework for the state's new medical marijuana industry after an outcry from a legislative panel saying the proposed regulation went too far.

At what was expected to be the Department of Health's final day-long hearing on the proposed rule Friday, Office of Compassionate Use Director Linda McMullen told a packed conference room that changes are likely.

Legislative Panel Questions Proposed Pot Rule

Sep 3, 2014

A legislative panel that plays a key role in overseeing state agencies has joined the chorus of critics seeking changes to a proposed soup-to-nuts rule setting up Florida's new medical-marijuana industry.

A 19-page letter from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee to the Department of Health's general counsel questions nearly every aspect of the proposed rule, beginning with who would be allowed to apply for one of five licenses to grow, manufacture and distribute a type of cannabis approved during this year's legislative session.

Prescription Drug Database Could Get Tougher Restrictions

Jul 16, 2014

 After Florida lawmakers failed to address the issue this spring, health officials are advancing an effort to tighten security on the state's prescription-drug database.

The Department of Health is floating a new rule that would lay out terms and conditions for use by law enforcement and investigative agencies after critics were unable to convince the Legislature to require court orders to access the database.

 A coupon for a low-priced massage? Sure. How about one for a facial? Okay.

Deal-of-the-day sites like Groupon, where subscribers can find limited-time discounts for all sorts of  services, offer more these days than simple pampering on the cheap. They’re adding health care to the list.

Special-Needs Kids in Insurance Quandary

Apr 30, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Florida pediatricians say an expected legislative move heightens worries about what will happen to young special-needs patients as the state privatizes the Children's Medical Services program over the next three months.

The changes are part of a larger transition for Medicaid patients from a fee-for-service delivery system to one in which they would be enrolled in prepaid health plans. Thanks to a 2011 law revamping Medicaid, Children’s Medical Services must make the transition to managed care by Aug. 1.

Trauma Centers Get Senate Support

Apr 29, 2014

The Florida Senate on Monday approved a bill that would ensure the continued operation of three disputed trauma centers, but it remains unclear if Senate and House plans will agree before the legislative session ends Friday.

The Senate tacked the trauma issue onto another health-care bill (SB 1354), which it then approved in a 33-3 vote. Meanwhile, the House has included a similar trauma care proposal in an omnibus health-care bill (HB 7113) that is far different from the Senate bill.

House Ready to Pass Health 'Train'

Apr 25, 2014

The Florida House appears poised Friday to pass a massive health-care bill that would ensure three disputed trauma centers remain open and give long-sought powers to nurse practitioners. In legislative parlance, such a mega-bill is called a "train."

The bill (HB 7113) also contains a bunch of other controversial issues, such as expanding the use of telemedicine, allowing pharmacists to supervise additional technicians and stripping the Miami-Dade County Commission of power to approve labor contracts at the massive Jackson Health System.

Disputed Trauma Centers Gain Support

Mar 12, 2014

In what one supporter called a "reset for the trauma system," a House panel Tuesday approved a controversial bill that would ensure the continued operation of three disputed trauma centers in Manatee, Pasco and Marion counties.

The 8-4 vote by the House Health Innovation Subcommittee was the first public decision in what promises to be a hospital-industry lobbying battle during this spring's legislative session.

Major industry players and the state Department of Health have been embroiled in nearly three years of legal fights about the approval of new trauma facilities.

Talks Aimed at Healing Trauma Divisions

Jan 24, 2014

With a former Supreme Court justice shepherding the talks, negotiators Thursday tried to break through a long-running disagreement about how Florida should approve new trauma centers across the state.

Trauma surgeons, hospital lawyers and the Florida Department of Health's top attorney held a day-long negotiating session aimed at coming up with a rule that could play a key role in determining where trauma centers will be allowed to open in the future.

Susan and Ed Bilbao grew up in the Philippines, in an environment very heavily influenced by Catholicism. Susan worked for religious organizations, and Ed had every intention of becoming a priest.

And while their faith united them, it also presented complications when they wanted to be together.

In this edition of Storycorps Tampa Bay, Susan and Ed discuss his decision to end their relationship to take on an oath of celibacy, and how, over time, they found each other again.

The 2013 Legislature could have fixed a tiny gap in Florida law that blocks health officials from regulating hundreds of out-of-state compounding pharmacies that ship high-risk drugs into this state.

As part of his update on the fungal meningitis outbreak in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott inadvertently sent callers to an adult phone line rather than the toll-free meningitis hotline.

It happened during the meeting of the Florida Cabinet. Gov. Scott was directing concerned Floridians to go to the Florida Department of Health website or call.


Just weeks after U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke barred the enforcement of the so-called “Docs and Glocks ” law, Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health are appealing the ruling.

The law forbade doctors and other medical providers from asking patients about guns in their homes.

Across the state of Florida, at least 104 cases of Tuberculosis have been documented.

These cases are believed to have started among the homeless population in Duval County.

North Florida has reported the most cases, while Miami-Dade, Pinellas and St. Lucie counties have confirmed two cases each, according to the Palm Beach Post.