Medical-marijuana delays anger would-be users

Health regulators are on the defensive about their latest attempt to get the state's medical-marijuana industry up and running, rejecting criticism from a legislative oversight panel while trying to assuage concerns of parents of sick children.

At a hearing Monday, the Florida Department of Health's Office of Compassionate Use Director Patricia Nelson fielded questions from investors and nursery owners eager to become one of five operators authorized to grow, process and dispense non-euphoric cannabis believed to eliminate or dramatically reduce life-threatening seizures in children with rare forms of epilepsy.

Parents of children who suffer from hundreds of seizures daily made tearful pleas for regulators to move as quickly as possible to get on the market what many believe are life-saving types of marijuana that are low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD.

Under a law passed last year, the department was supposed to have chosen...

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