Hackney Nursery is trying to expand their horizons, by adding medical marijuana to their crops. The Quincy-based developer intends to add the cash crop to their lot sooner rather than later.
The state held a lottery to choose five nurseries across the state that will grow medical marijuana.
There are several requirements that the nurseries must meet to be considered. Considered nurseries are required to be in business for 30 consecutive years in Florida and be capable of maintaining 400,000 plants.
Hackney submitted an application in July to grow the low THC marijuana, manufacture extracts and distribute non-euphoric cannabis in the northwest region of Florida to patients.
Under current guidelines, there are no rules for producers to acquire the plants they will develop and form into concentrates to be utilized as solution for patients with ALS, seizures and other strong illnesses.
Medical marijuana is not intended for patients to “get high” but to merely help those with uncontrollable medical conditions.
Lawmakers passed the Compassionate Care Act this spring to permit patient’s access to a cannabis concentrate demonstrated to help patients experiencing the disease.
Department of Health’s general counsel, Jennifer Tschetter says that there will not be any legal actions taken against people that own any during a public comment period on the issue on Sept. 5.
“The Department of Health will not prosecute those who seek or possess clone plants, seeds or cuttings,” said Tschetter.
Hackney’s owner and president, George Hackney Sr., never imagined that his business would consider growing marijuana until now.
“If you would’ve told me my nursery would be growing marijuana, I would’ve laughed at you,” stated Hackney. “But once I found out how much it helps kids, I wanted to be a part of it, even though it would be a lot of work.”
Hackney Nursery is already preparing for the possibility by traveling to gain more knowledge from other companies said Operations Manager George Hackney Jr.
“We have traveled to Colorado, Seattle and all over the country to get as much advice on this,” said Hackney Jr. “The drug works for a lot of people, and we can make a difference.”
Hackney is not certain that the drug will help cure everybody, but if it can help some people they are all for it.
“We aren’t saying it’s going to heal everybody; you can’t guarantee that with any drug,” said Hackney Jr. “But when you go to conferences and you see a kid that couldn’t control his seizures be able to live a more comfortable life makes it worthwhile.”