Florida medical marijuana director Christian Bax, who has been a frequent target of lawmakers and patients over delays in the program, is stepping down.
The Department of Health said on Friday that Bax’s resignation takes effect on Aug. 10. Deputy Director Courtney Coppola has been named the interim director.
Bax had led the Office of Medical Marijuana Use since it was created in 2015. He wrote in his resignation letter that “it has been an incredible honor to have served the Department and the State of Florida in the task of building something entirely new in the state.”
During his three-year tenure Bax’s leadership has been beset by legal challenges mostly related to the process of awarding licenses for medical marijuana growers and distributors. The office is also involved in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of patients being able to smoke medical pot.
Orlando attorney John Morgan, who spearheaded the passing of the state’s constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, has been the most vocal of Bax’s critics. On Friday he said he hoped that there would be some improvement immediately since “it is hard to do worse than zero.” [Read more at Orlando Sentinel]