Category Archives: Charlotte’s Web Medical Marijuana

Realm of Caring is driving force in Medical Marijuana with their focus on CBD in Charlotte’s Web.

Admin; As state by state passes laws favorable to marijuana in both medical and recreational form we should see more such entities working together. I predict this will increase the momentum to complete removal of marijuana on a national level from schedule one drug classification.

Local marijuana nonprofit group to merge with Colo. growers

Will Isern, PNJ8:16 p.m. CDT September 1, 2014

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(Photo: Special to the News Journal )

Caring 4 Florida, the medical marijuana nonprofit group founded by a Gulf Breeze family, has merged with Colorado-based Realm of Caring to become Realm of Caring Florida, a statewide resource for families interested in non-euphoric cannabis treatments.

The Moseley family and their daughter, RayAnn, have been the focus of several News Journal articles dating back to January.

It was their efforts, along with those of Florida lawmakers, especially Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach), that led governor Rick Scott to sign the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 in June. The law will legalize treatment derived from medical marijuana for certain patients when it takes effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Continue reading

Medical marijuana strain Charlottes Web will be grown by growHealthy LLC in Florida.

Admin.  This will be a big step forward for medical marijuana as an example for the rest of the United States.  Legitimacy of medical marijuana is becoming obvious as time goes by.

Florida firm plans big, low cost, medical marijuana grow operation


ORLANDO Fla. Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:55pm EDT

(Reuters) – A Florida company plans to build what it believes will be the biggest medical marijuana factory in the country, hoping the economy of scale will lower the cost of the drug which is not covered by insurance.

GrowHealthy LLC will operate out of a renovated 185,000-square-foot industrial complex set on 33 acres in Lake Wales, central Florida, said Don Clifford, its chief executive officer.

“We expect that our productivity will be dramatically higher than you see in some other states. We think our costs will be lower through the use of automation,” Clifford said. Continue reading

Florida nursery businesses consider diversification into medical marijuana future.


Medical marijuana: Florida’s new business boom

Some of South Florida’s most established nurseries contemplate adding medical marijuana, Florida’s newest crop, as the state begins creating industry regulations.

Some of South Florida’s most established nurseries contemplate adding medical marijuana, Florida’s newest crop, as the state begins creating industry regulations. Video Emily Michot/Miami Herald



Before the sun set over the rows of palms and ferns and hibiscus that Thursday, Chuck Buster had heard from a half dozen friends, all calling to tell him that his next venture could be in Florida’s medical marijuana business.

For more than three decades, the co-owner of Alpha Foliage has tilled the Homestead earth near the southern tip of Florida, raising tropical foliage season after season. But a rising drumbeat to bring medical marijuana to Florida, plus a Legislature that relented on the last day of the lawmaking session last spring have combined to create a potential new business boom for nursery owners such as Buster.

What he learned on that Thursday in May was that his nursery qualified as a potential pot growing location. So with 300 acres at his disposal and 30 years of experience in the foliage business, Buster suddenly found himself poised to enter the legal pot business.

He’s far from alone. Alpha Foliage is one of 50 veteran nurseries, including 12 based in South Miami-Dade County and one in Broward County, eligible to compete to become one of five regional growers. That has fueled a frenzy of callers — ganja-preneurs, investors, technology companies — looking to partner with an eligible nursery in what will become Florida’s newest legal crop, a limited, low-THC form of marijuana for medical purposes. It will be used for patients with seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms and cancer.

“I started getting all these inquiries as to whether I had any interest in partnering in a marijuana growing operation,” said Buster, as he surveyed the growing list of agricultural companies from the town of Havana in North Florida to Homestead, that met the criteria of operating for at least 30 years and having an inventory of 400,000 plants. “Everybody is trying to be a part of this.”

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized use of some medical marijuana. Florida became part of the group with the passage of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act this year.

The new law allows five medical marijuana dispensaries to cultivate marijuana low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that provides a euphoric high, but high in cannabidiol, or CBD, which can calm seizures. The plants will be processed into an oil form and taken orally.

The law and speculation about Amendment 2 — a proposed constitutional referendum set for a statewide vote in November that would expand the uses of medical marijuana in Florida — are attracting a slew of companies looking to do business in the state. They come brandishing cash and expertise, the tools they say will guarantee success in the expanding field.

Under the proposed rules drafted by the Florida Department of Health, the state will award regional licenses through a lottery that will include a pool of eligible participants. The second rule-making workshop is scheduled Aug. 1 in Tallahassee, but application forms can’t be created until the rules are formalized.

What is clear already: The investment required will be sizable. The license will cost $150,000, along with the grower’s posting a $5 million performance bond. Nurseries also will be required to have comprehensive technology and security. Growers will have to fingerprint and screen their employees.


Businesses and how-to-grow-medical-pot schools, many from out of town, are flocking to Florida to stake out a slice of the new industry, hosting seminars and conferences to train wanna-be “canni-business” owners on how to jump into a complex, highly regulated market. They talk about Florida as a destination for medical marijuana-related opportunities including growing and dispensing; lab testing and equipment; delivery services; payment processing and insurance; security, and real estate services.

Just this weekend, Colorado-based MMJ Business Academy held a two-day event at a Doral hotel for $299 offering advice and a “road map” for opening a marijuana business. The Summit and Solutions event also was a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch business ideas to industry professionals.

Similar events already have been held in Hollywood, Miami and West Palm Beach. In North Miami-Dade, a mammoth yellow billboard on the shoulder of Interstate 95 beckons entrepreneurs to a seminar in August at the Signature Grand in Davie. The Medical Marijuana Business Seminars’ one-day event, with a price tag starting at $395, offers a team including doctors, lawyers, dispensary owners, horticulturists and hydroponics experts. “The time is now to get in on the ground floor of an industry that is going to explode in Florida!” reads an advertisement.

For Buster, the burgeoning industry is attractive if his only investment is the land and license. After his nursery was added to the list of potential license holders, the calls flooded in, nearly two dozen from the U.S. and abroad. Some strictly wanted to invest. Others want to partner, bringing the technology needed to grow the plants.

“I am 75 years old and reached a point in life where I don’t want any more challenges. Growing marijuana is a technical type of growing that takes special equipment and techniques,” said Buster, who sells about two million fern baskets annually. “So anybody I would partner with, they would provide all the money and expertise and I would provide the license and land.”


In the midst of the business boom are the personal stories, the hopes of parents whose children suffer intractable seizures and wait for the medical marijuana they believe can help. For many, it’s a last resort.

Seth Hyman, a business consultant and advocate, has made a mission out of trying to help find treatment for his daughter Rebecca, who has a rare genetic disorder. Up to 200 times a day, the 8-year-old suffers seizures, small and large. The seizures started about five years ago, becoming so disabling that she requires constant care. Hyman, who testified before the Florida House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice earlier in January in support of medical marijuana, said he has tried 15 to 20 medications to treat his daughter’s seizures, which often include the loss of consciousness and muscle contractions of the type known as grand mal seizures.

None has worked.

“Rebecca is the wonder of our life. She had so much potential before the seizures. She started to show progress. Progress for children who are medically complex can be something as simple as grasping a little toy or rolling or trying to sit up,” said Hyman, who lives in Weston with his wife, Danielle, Rebecca and oldest daughter, Melissa, 14. “Unfortunately, when she started having seizures five years ago, she started to regress.”

The seizures have left Hyman fearing the worst.

“Sometimes she turns blue and stops breathing. Just today, she had three grand mals. This is a normal, daily routine,” he said. “As desperate parents, we are fighting for any kind of possible relief.”


Ashley Trop, co-owner of Plants in Design, learned from the media that his Redland nursery — which began simply as staghorn ferns and bromeliads in a backyard about 40 years ago — was eligible to compete for a license. Since that spring day, the phone has been buzzing.

“A lot of people have come out of the woodwork. There is a huge amount of interest,” said Trop, a former Miami Beach firefighter who owns the nursery, specializing in bromeliads, with two partners. “We even had a woman in the U.S. Virgin Islands who called to say her son was a good marijuana grower there and could help us if we needed it. We have also heard from friends in Brazil who want to invest cash in the business.”

Trop and his partners haven’t made any final decisions about the opportunity.

“We have talked to a lot of people, but everything is still up in the air,” he said. “The good news is that this will help a lot of sick children and others who need it.”


Robert DeLeon, of DeLeon’s bromeliads in Goulds and Mount Dora, checked his voicemail on Monday — there were three more messages from attorneys and business consultants from Colorado and California, all pitching their expertise in the industry, as the dozen or more before had done.

“We have definitely gotten our fair share of calls. We are weighing our options right now,” said DeLeon, who runs the business along with brother Don. “This will be a lucrative business, but it’s also a lot of hard work. Growing marijuana is not something that nurseries can do old-school style. It’s a really high-tech operation so you have to have the right partners.”

The family business operates on about 68 acres in the two locations. In July, 1980, Robert and Don DeLeon opened an 11,000-square-foot shade house on 2.3 acres of land in Kendall, specializing in rare bromeliads. Five years later, the nursery entered the wholesale market and moved to Goulds. They had been there seven years before Hurricane Andrew roared through, destroying the business. They rebuilt and opened their second location about 250 miles away in Central Florida.

On Thursday, DeLeon attended a medical marijuana business symposium in Orlando to learn more about the opportunities.

“The nursery business has gotten tougher, especially in the last six or eight years,” says DeLeon whose business moves about four million bromeliads and orchids annually. “This could be a great opportunity, but like everybody else, we just have to wait and see.”

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Florida Moseley family starts a family business to get Medical marijuana Dispensary to grow Charlottes Web.

Family creates company to bring medical marijuana drug, Charlotte’s Web, to Florida

Gov. Rick Scott met with RayAnn Moseley at the end of the legislative session and promised to sign the bill. Courtesy of Caring 4 Florida, the Moseley family non-profit.

The parents of RayAnn Moseley, the Pensacola child with intractable epilepsy whose story softened the hearts of reluctant lawmakers, are fighting a new battle: getting Charlotte’s Web to Florida.

The Moseleys have formed a company to apply to be one of the five medical marijuana dispensaries under the new law that allows for the cultivation of marijuana low in THC, the chemical that provides the high, and high in CBD, the one that calms seizures. They say their motives are pure: to guarantee the strain that worked miracles in Colorado is available in Florida and to avoid the risk of having to rely on imitations.

“I’m only ready to try something that’s working and is safe,” said Holley Moseley, mother of RayAnn.

But their efforts face hurdles — and critics.

The Moseleys are partnering with the Stanley Brothers, the family that went from obscure Colorado marijuana farmers to international miracle workers when the mother of Charlotte Figi used the extract of their plants to treat her daughter with intractable epilepsy. That partnership with the Moseleys, if successful, threatens to edge out others who also see business potential in Florida’s new cash crop.

At a hearing to develop the rules for growing, cultivating and dispensing the legal marijuana last week, several cannabis experts and entrepreneurs dismissed the notion that Charlotte’s Web is unique. The testimony was speculative, but presenters said it is one of several high CBD strains that could be developed to treat epilepsy.

“The Stanleys’ claim is, through trial and error, they have come across a strain that is especially effective for intractable epilepsy, but other people are saying the same thing,” said Kerry Herndon, who owns a nursery in Apopka. He said he has been approached by several people, including the Stanleys, who claim to have unique strains high in CBD and want to partner with his nursery.

“Who knows? How can you tell?” he said. “Everybody’s got an agenda, and it’s all financial, and it’s stomach-turning.”

Charlotte’s Web is the trademark owned by the Stanley brothers, who became famous last August after a CNN special report by medical reporter Sanjay Gupta featured the 7-year-old Colorado girl, Charlotte Figi. After two years of taking a marijuana extract, she has become nearly seizure-free, and the Stanleys called their low-THC, high-CBD strain “Charlotte’s Web.”

Like many families who heard that story, the Moseleys traveled to Colorado, met Charlotte and the Stanleys, and vowed to find a way to legalize the drug in Florida.

After months of working to see the unimaginable — a bill to legalize a strain of marijuana intended to help their child — the unexpected occurred in the form of a surprise amendment to the marijuana bill. The amendment, which emerged in the final hours of the Legislative session, required that the five dispensaries licensed to grow and sell marijuana be nurseries in Florida for at least 30 years.

The intent was clear: outsiders like the Stanleys were not going to be allowed to set up shop unless they partnered with someone already here.

“They now have to make a deal with the evil growers who manipulated the politics,” Herndon said facetiously.

The Moseleys say they understand that Charlotte’s Web is just one of the high-CBD strains known, but it’s the strain with a track record.

“This has never been about money,” Holley Moseley said. “All along, our goal has been to get Charlotte’s Web for RayAnn, whether that was moving to Colorado or fighting to make it legal here.”

As the parents of a child with an intractable form of epilepsy, there is nothing conventional about Holley and Peyton Moseley’s path through parenthood.

Holley first met RayAnn in a hospital ward in Pensacola, where she was a pediatric nurse. The blue-eyed 2-year-old had cerebral palsy, was in state custody and had been in a non-medical shelter where her treatment needs had been neglected. Her birth mother was a drug user and prostitute. Christmas was approaching, and Holley got permission to have RayAnn join her and her husband for the holidays.

That’s all it took to win their hearts. They hired a lawyer and for three years fought to adopt RayAnn. Their family has since expanded with two natural children.

The Moseleys found themselves fighting for RayAnn again this year when they joined with other families to legalize a strain of marijuana that promises to treat seizures in children with chronic epilepsy.

“Why don’t you just find a way to get the stuff into Florida illegally?” Rep. Matt Gaetz asked Peyton Moseley at a January legislative workshop on legalizing pot that is high in CBD.

“First of all, Florida is our home, but we’re not willing to break the law even to help our daughter,” Peyton answered. “And there are so many parents who are in the same situation. If we leave, that’s one less voice for everybody else who’s suffering.”

Recalling the Moseleys’ story later, Gaetz, a hard-edged Republican from the Panhandle town of Shalimar, got misty-eyed.

“I don’t know many people on the planet Earth who spend three years to adopt a severely ill child and then have such respect for our laws that they are unwilling to break them,” he said.

RayAnn, who is now 11, traveled to the Capitol to win votes for the law, delivering drawings labeled “Rays of Hope” to lawmakers who helped. But when the amendment was added to the bill, the Moseleys realized that if they were going to get Charlotte’s Web to Florida, they were going to have to make it happen.

They created a non-profit organization modeled after the Stanleys’ non-profit Realm of Caring and, because the law does not appear to allow a non-profit to cultivate plants considered illegal under federal law, they created a for-profit limited liability corporation, at the advice of their lawyer, to operate a dispensary. They named it Ray of Hope for Florida.

Under the agreement with the Stanleys, nurseries in Florida will not be able to get the Charlotte’s Web plant unless they receive it from the Moseleys and the Stanleys, said Heather Jackson, executive director of Realm of Caring, the non-profit group that provides assistance to families through education about Charlotte’s Web.

“We generally like to partner with other families because they are so dedicated to it,” Jackson said. “They are going to make the right moral decisions, and they’re always focused on the best interests of the patient. Who else is going to take a call at 8:30 at night to help a patient?”

The model works this way: The nursery licensed to work with the Stanleys cultivates, grows and develops the extract of the low-THC, high-CBD strain of cannabis the Stanleys have developed and refined over the past five years. They use profits from their dispensaries to finance the research and finance Realm of Caring. In Colorado, they charge families five cents a milligram and work closely with the advocates at the non-profit arm to determine dosage and provide assistance.

Realm of Caring has licenses in Colorado and California, with plans to expand their model to other states. Its staff, made up mostly of parents of children receiving treatment from Charlotte’s Web, provides education about how the extract works on a child’s system and potential drug interactions. They help parents determine dosage and provide free and reduced-price access to the extract. They are now serving 434 patients, and thousands more are on the waiting list.

Jackson’s 11-year-old son, Zaki, was the second child treated with the Stanleys’ strain of high CBD marijuana to control epileptic seizures. This month, she said, he has been seizure-free for 21 months. Dosage depends on the child’s weight and diagnosis.

Under the draft rule developed by the Florida Department of Health, there is no guarantee the state will pick the nursery and dispensary that offers Charlotte’s Web. Under the proposal, the five dispensaries, one in each region, will be chosen by lottery. That proposal was roundly criticized not only by growers, entrepreneurs and developers, but even the sponsor of the bill. The department is revising the draft rule.

Meanwhile, Joel Stanley has met with several potential growers and is looking for either “licensing the intellectual property or creating joint ventures between our companies and some of the qualified applicants we have.”

“Which one and how many we’re going to propose to pass this torch in Florida — or whether we’ll try to develop a relationship with all five — will be more clear once the regulations come out,” he said after the rules hearing last week.

Complicating things for the Stanleys is that their oldest brother, Josh, has created his own company, FloriCan, and is working to develop another high-CBD strain apart from Charlotte’s Web.

“He’s been traveling in other countries and working on it with other states,” said Jason Unger, Josh Stanley’s Florida lobbyist.

For the Moseleys, none of these developments change their focus.

“If Charlotte’s Web didn’t make it to Florida, Peyton and I would be moving to Colorado,” Holley said. “From the moment that I met RayAnn, she stole my heart. I’ve been fighting for her since, and this is just another step in the process. It’s all about her. We’ll do what we need to do.”

Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at and on Twitter @MaryEllenKlas.

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