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State Agency Seeks Money, Workers As Medical Marijuana Industry Grows

As Florida’s legal pot industry is poised to mushroom, health regulators are asking lawmakers for nearly $13 million to more than double the number of workers in the office that oversees medical marijuana issues.

Health officials also want $4 million for a state education and prevention campaign to publicize “accurate information” about medical marijuana, money to buy vehicles to transport samples of THC-infused edible products to a testing lab in Jacksonville and additional funds to open three regional offices within the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, according to documents submitted to the Legislature.

The office, known as OMMU, has 80 positions and is seeking to add another 85 employees as the number of patients, which continues to skyrocket since medical cannabis first went on the market in Florida five years ago, is expected to exceed 900,000 by mid-2023.

The new positions would be transferred from “aged, vacant positions” assigned to county health departments, the proposal said.

About $5.7 million of the office’s $12.9 million “workload” request would go toward hiring 85 full-time workers and the remainder would cover “contracted services” and other expenses.

Part of the outsourced work is intended to help process an expected influx of applications from businesses hoping to enter Florida’s lucrative market. [Read more at CBS Miami]

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