Advocates want medical marijuana in Florida, but not like California

Brightly lit and bustling, Harborside Health Center serves as something of a model for the medical marijuana industry — even as California’s freewheeling approach to cannabis is seen as an example of how not to do things.

As dozens of customers at Harborside pick their products, chatty budtenders talk knowledgeably about the selection, which includes cannabis for smoking, eating and vaporizing.

Business is booming: Between this store in Oakland and another location in San Jose, Harborside’s sales total $35 million a year. Sales are so strong that Harborside offers free yoga, tai chi and acupuncture to its customers, who must have a doctor’s permission to enter the store.

If Florida voters pass Amendment 2 in November, the state could allow a similar strain of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate here. Unlike California’s loosely regulated approach, however, Florida’s medical marijuana proponents envision a tightly controlled industry.

“California is really...

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