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Florida Marijuana Legalization Update

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Florida Office of Compassionate Use Update

The Florida Office of Compassionate Use, the office within the Florida Department of Health charged with adopting rules and enforcing Florida medical marijuana laws, has posted a video explaining current Florida marijuana laws and regulations.

You can view the video here.

Finding Florida Marijuana Doctors and Florida Marijuana Dispensaries

For an easy way to search for Florida marijuana doctors approved to prescribe medical marijuana and to find Florida marijuana dispensaries, please click here.

 Transcript of Florida Marijuana Video

Here is a full transcript of the Florida marijuana video posted above, posted here for the convenience of our readers:
this presentation will discuss the current laws and regulations for medical
0:03
cannabis the implementation plan for the summer of 2016 and what that will look
0:08
like in practice the compassionate medical cannabis active 2014 charge the
0:12
Florida Department of Health with creating a regulatory infrastructure for
0:16
medical cannabis to accomplish this mandate the department established the
0:20
office of compassionate use in july of 2014
0:23
the OCU oversees the statewide Compassionate Use registry as well as
0:28
the licensing of Florida six dispensing organizations over the course of the
0:33
next 10 months
0:34
the Department propagated chapter 64 – for which contains the department’s
0:38
rules dealing with the regulation of medical cannabis these roles were upheld
0:43
in may of 2015 in july of 2015
0:47
the Department accepted 28 dispensing organization applications and in
0:52
November of 2015 the Department approved five applicants to become dispensing
0:56
organizations within 21 days of announcing the approved dispensing
1:00
organization the department had received 13 administrative petitions from
1:05
applicants that did not have the highest scores of their region
1:09
the department has also received a handful of additional challenges since
1:13
then each dispensing organization is required to comply with a timeline laid
1:18
out in statute each dispensing organization has met the requirements
1:23
for posting a five-million-dollar performance bond and requesting
1:26
cultivation authorization
1:28
the department has issued cultivation authorization for for dispensing
1:32
organizations
1:34
this means that there is currently cannabis legally growing in the state of
1:38
florida you can see a list under the first bullet of the dates each
1:42
dispensing organization was approved to begin cultivating cannabis sutera
1:47
therapeutics is currently growing in leon and hillsboro counties truly is
1:52
currently cultivating in Gaston County modern health concepts is growing in
1:56
miami-dade county and knocks nursery is cleared to begin growing in Orange
2:01
County in late March Governor Scott side house bill 307 which changed several
2:07
elements of cannabis law in Florida initially dispensing organizations were
2:12
only permitted to grow cannabis with very low THC THC is the active
2:17
ingredient in cannabis that results in users receiving the euphoric sensation
2:22
commonly known as high
2:24
the new law permits dispensing organizations to grow medical cannabis
2:28
which potentially have great deal of THC for the purposes of this discussion we
2:33
will mirror the statutory distinction between non euphoric low THC cannabis
2:38
and medical cannabis
2:40
house bill 307 initiated a second imported change the new law resulted in
2:45
the approving of a sixth dispensing organization grandiflora both
2:50
grandiflora and chestnut hill tree farm are located in alachua county though
2:55
neither has been approved to begin growing cannabis at this time we
2:59
anticipate both receiving cultivation authorizations this summer
3:03
Florida requires each of the six dispensing organizations to be
3:07
vertically integrated this means that all cultivation processing and
3:11
dispensing activities must be carried out by the dispensing organizations and
3:16
their employees
3:17
again these six companies are the only businesses legally allowed to grow
3:22
process or sell cannabis in Florida
3:25
the only exception to this is a carve-out for academic research in the
3:29
current law if you encounter cannabis businesses
3:32
other than the entities listed above they are operating outside the
3:36
regulations of the Department of Health the licensure process for dispensing
3:41
organizations split the state into five regions each dispensing organization is
3:46
required to provide access to medical cannabis for the patients in their
3:50
respective region you can see a visual depiction of the state’s five dispensing
3:55
regions on this slide
3:56
I would like to clarify one key point dispensing organizations are required to
4:01
serve their regions but they are permitted to serve other regions as well
4:06
specifically there are no Geographic restrictions for dispensing so for
4:10
example a Northwest dispensing organization may sell in the Southeast
4:15
region
4:16
and the southwest dispensing organization can open a dispensary in
4:20
the central region the Department anticipate dispensaries to open in every
4:25
major population centres in the state
4:28
the list you see here will likely be the location for the state’s first
4:31
dispensaries
4:33
this list is based on the information provided to the department by the
4:36
dispensing organizations in their applications any additional dispensary
4:41
locations must be approved by the Department
4:44
if your municipality has not been mentioned yet that does not mean that
4:48
medical cannabis will not affect it
4:50
state law allows for cannabis to be delivered to qualified patients
4:54
moreover dispensing organizations are permitted to conduct wholesale cannabis
4:58
sales to each other
5:00
this means that even if your city does not have a cultivation center or
5:04
dispensary
5:05
it will still likely have cannabis moving through it
5:08
additionally physicians all over the state will be ordering cannabis in their
5:12
offices and patients will be using medical cannabis products in every
5:17
region of Florida
5:19
we’re now going to discuss which patients are eligible to receive low THC
5:23
and medical cannabis
5:25
there are three overarching patient requirements to qualify for medical or
5:29
low THC cannabis first a patient must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition
5:35
seconde a patient must be a florida resident third a patient must have been
5:40
seeing the ordering physician for the immediate preceding three months
5:45
florida delineate cannabis into two categories of patients first patients
5:50
with cancer epilepsy or conditions causing chronic seizures or muscle
5:54
spasms are eligible for low THC cannabis
5:58
the second group of patients are those with a terminal condition if a patient
6:02
has two physicians a test that he or she is terminal
6:06
meaning that a patient’s condition will be fatal within one year that patient is
6:11
eligible for medical cannabis
6:14
florida law sets out a list of requirements for physicians looking to
6:17
order low THC or medical cannabis for patients
6:21
there are too strict initial requirements to be eligible to order
6:24
cannabis a physician can only order cannabis if he or she has an active
6:29
unrestricted license under chapters for 58 or 59 and complete and ate our course
6:36
and examination provided by the Florida Medical Association or the Florida
6:41
Osteopathic Medical Association those two requirements allow a physician to
6:46
gain access to the statewide registry the statewide registry is a cloud-based
6:50
online system mandated by florida statute physicians will use the registry
6:55
to register patients and to enter orders for low THC and medical cannabis
7:01
it is the only method for physicians to enter orders for low THC and medical
7:05
cannabis available in Florida and Florida dispensing organizations cannot
7:10
fill in order
7:11
created in any other form beyond the two requirements we discussed Florida law
7:16
has an additional set of requirements physicians must follow once they have
7:20
access to the registry a physician must treat a patient for at least three
7:26
months before registering the patient in the registry or issuing that patient and
7:31
order for medical cannabis obtained voluntary written informed consent from
7:36
the patient or his or her legal representative maintain a patient
7:41
treatment plan for each patient and submit the plan quarterly to the
7:45
University of Florida school of pharmacy order no more than a 45 day supply for
7:50
patients
7:51
finally physicians employed as medical director by one of the state’s
7:55
dispensing organizations may not order cannabis for patients this slide
8:01
summarizes how the workflow for ordering low THC and medical cannabis will
8:06
proceed first a physician must diagnose a patient with a qualifying condition
8:11
seconde a physician must go through the checklist of requirements in Florida law
8:16
namely see the patient for three months and obtain voluntary written consent for
8:21
a patient
8:22
the physician may then enter an order into the statewide registry for no more
8:27
than a 45 day supply next a physician must submit a patient treatment plan to
8:32
the University of Florida College of Pharmacy the college of pharmacy
8:36
currently has a template form on its website patient treatment plans must be
8:40
submitted quarterly
8:42
however if there is a change to the patient’s treatment plan a physician
8:45
must submit an update to us within 7 days of that change
8:50
finally a patient may feel his or her order at any dispensing organization in
8:55
the state
8:56
once an order has been filled it locks down and cannot be filled again at
9:01
another dispensing organization
9:03
moreover patients are linked to the physician issuing the order and cannot
9:07
receive multiple orders from multiple physicians in order for a patient to
9:12
switch physicians the primary physician must unlink him or herself from the
9:17
patient in the registry and a new physician must take over the patient’s
9:21
account to issue future orders
9:24
the new law had to import and logistical impacts first
9:29
it required a course provided by FM a and F oh ma to educate physicians on
9:34
medical cannabis and cannabis delivery devices in addition to low THC cannabis
9:40
the office of compassionate use is working with the FMA and fo ma to update
9:46
the required training course to reflect the new law
9:49
we anticipate this update will be completed this month
9:52
second the new law required several major changes to the compassionate use
9:56
registry
9:57
the department is currently making the required updates to the registry and it
10:01
will be back online and operational prior to cannabis products becoming
10:05
available
10:06
one of our most important tasks over the next few months is to keep you all
10:11
informed on where we are and where we’re going on this issue
10:15
dispensing organizations will be coming online this summer and early this fall
10:19
with the first anticipated to begin dispensing in July
10:24
this means that dispensing organizations will be growing processing and selling
10:28
physicians will be ordering and patients will be using cannabis products in not
10:33
years or months but week’s the office of compassionate use has and will continue
10:38
to issue a steady stream of updates and information specifically we are
10:43
providing written by weekly updates to law enforcement
10:46
physicians and other stakeholders we are also working with our colleagues at the
10:50
Department to conduct proactive outreach to qualified physicians with regulatory
10:54
information and are targeting physician networks to make sure that physicians
10:59
are as informed as possible about this process each dispensing organization is
11:06
currently moving through an authorization process each company must
11:10
be cleared by the department to begin cultivation processing and dispensing
11:14
this is a process that occurs sequentially and in stages
11:18
four of the six dispensing organizations have begun growing cannabis and are now
11:22
moving forward with processing authorization
11:25
we will continue to provide information and updates as they become available
11:30
the Department will review and enforce violations of any of the requirements of
11:35
section 3 81 . 986 as needed anything occurring outside of or in violation of
11:42
the requirements of the statute may be subject to disciplinary proceedings by
11:46
the department or possible criminal proceedings
11:50
section 3 81 . 986 florida statute provides for use of medical cannabis and
11:55
low THC cannabis via only authorized medical use and prohibits certain uses
12:01
of the product
12:02
patients may not smoke medical cannabis or low THC cannabis they cannot transfer
12:07
the product or use it in prohibited places including public places on school
12:12
grounds and modes of transportation
12:14
the statute also details the requirements ordering physicians must
12:19
abide by in ordering the product
12:22
ordering physicians must make certain medical determinations prior to ordering
12:25
the product and in order to lawfully order the product they must determine
12:30
the risk are reasonable in light of the benefit to the patient
12:34
documentation is required for patients under 18 by two physicians before or
12:39
during the product physicians must register as the ordering physician for
12:43
that patient indicate the order amount which cannot be more than a 45 day
12:47
supply if the order changes the ordering physician has seven days to update the
12:53
registry and they must deactivate the patient in the registry
12:56
when they stop treating that patient treatment plans are required for
13:01
ordering physicians and written informed consent is mandatory for both low THC
13:05
cannabis and medical cannabis low THC cannabis informed consent is detailed in
13:11
the statute and section for ninety 90 to 95 subsection 2 e experimental
13:18
treatments for terminal conditions and provides that written informed consent
13:22
for medical cannabis must include a document that is signed by a patient
13:27
parent of a minor patient a court-appointed guardian of a patient or
13:31
healthcare surrogate designated by a patient that includes an explanation of
13:36
the currently approved products and treatments for the patient’s terminal
13:40
condition and attestation that a patient concurs with his or her physician in
13:45
believing that all currently approved products and treatments are unlikely to
13:49
prolong the patient’s life
13:51
identification of the specific product the patient is seeking to use a
13:56
realistic description of the most likely outcomes of using the investigational
14:00
product biological product or device a statement that the patient’s health plan
14:05
isn’t required to pay unless otherwise required by law
14:09
a statement that the patient eligibility for hospice care may be withdrawn
14:13
if the patient begins the treatment with the experimental product but could be
14:18
reinstated after treatment ceases a statement that the patient understands
14:22
he or she is liable for all expenses consequent to the use of the
14:26
investigational product and liability extends to the estate
14:30
the statute provides that it’s a crime for the ordering physician to order
14:34
without a reasonable belief that the patient qualifies for low THC or medical
14:40
cannabis
14:40
it also prohibits payment of kickbacks to the physician from the dispensing
14:44
organization and specifically delineates that it is a violation of the practice
14:49
act and the prohibition against exercising influence for the purpose of
14:54
financial gain
14:55
this means that the physician may be charged with one or both violations in a
15:00
licensor disciplinary proceeding if it can be shown that payment was made from
15:04
the dispensing organization to the physician if an ordering physician
15:08
hasn’t complied with the educational requirements listed in the statute
15:12
prior to ordering they can be charged under the practice act and the
15:16
prohibition against failing to comply with a legal obligation in a licensor
15:20
disciplinary proceedings under 456 . 071 subsection 1 k florida statutes other
15:28
charges under the practice act may include practicing beyond the scope
15:31
permitted by law under sections for 58 . 3 31 subsection 1 V or 459 . 015
15:39
subsection 1 z florida statutes the statute provides that the department is
15:46
mandated to monitor registration and ordering by physician for ordering
15:50
practices that could facilitate unlawful diversion or misuse of the products and
15:55
take disciplinary action as indicated
15:58
although the statute sets out to specifically enumerated offenses for
16:02
disciplinary action against a physician
16:04
the department has the authority and is required to initiate disciplinary action
16:09
for any violations indicated through the ordering practices of physicians
16:13
permitted to order the products
16:16
patients may also be charged with a crime if they fraudulently represent
16:20
they qualify for the product
16:22
or for using the product in prohibited places dispensaries also have many
16:28
regulations that they must comply with through the growing processing and
16:32
dispensing process as well as the operation of the dispensary in the
16:37
growing process the dispensing organization may use approved pesticides
16:42
intended for human consumption
16:43
there’s a specific prohibition against using restricted use pesticides under
16:48
Section 487 . 04 to florida statutes growing structures must be enclosed and
16:54
not have any other plants in the growing room dispenser employees have to inspect
16:59
seed and plants for pests that would endanger or threaten horticulture and
17:03
agricultural interest with a requirement to notify the division of Agriculture
17:08
and Consumer Services within 10 days if they are identified must treat remove or
17:13
destroy as required in Chapter 581 regulating the plant industry processing
17:21
of the product also requires that the process occur in an enclosed structure
17:25
and be separate from other plants the dispensary also has to test the product
17:30
and record the results of the testing to ensure that low THC cannabis is actually
17:35
low THC that both products are safe for human consumption and free from
17:40
contaminants the records must be kept for nine months and the dispensary has
17:44
to contract with an independent lab that performs audits to ensure the
17:49
dispensaries compliance with these regulations the packaging must be done
17:54
in compliance with us poison prevention packaging Act of 1970 found in 15
17:59
united states code section 147 one and other applicable sections the packaging
18:05
has to have a firmly affixed and legible label indicating the product is safe for
18:10
human consumption and free from contaminants the name of the dispensing
18:14
organization and the batch and harvest number
18:17
the dispensary must also keep to process samples from each batch for a period of
18:23
nine months for testing an audit
18:26
the prohibitions relating to the dispensaries dispensing the product
18:29
include the requirement that the dispensary not dispense more than a 45
18:34
day supply of the product the dispensing employee has to enter their unique
18:39
identifier into the registry the dispensary must verify the order and the
18:43
registry may only dispense or sell what was ordered by the physician
18:48
dispensaries also must verify the patient’s active registration the order
18:54
matches the order entered into the registry and that the order hasn’t been
18:58
previously filled up on dispensing the dispensary is required to record the
19:03
date-time quantity and form of the product dispensed in the registry in the
19:10
operation of a dispensary the facility must have an operational security system
19:15
clear and active video surveillance with time and date stamps sufficient lighting
19:20
and a tracking system for the product that tracks key events key events must
19:25
include when cannabis seeds are planted when plants are harvested and destroyed
19:29
and when the product is transported sold stolen diverted or lost dispensaries may
19:36
not dispense between 9pm and seven a.m. but the dispensary can perform all other
19:42
operations including delivery at any time
19:46
the storage of the products must be done in a secure locked room or vault to
19:52
employees of the dispensary or two employees of a security agency must be
19:57
on the premises at all times
19:59
employees are required to wear photo identification badges on the dispensary
20:03
premises
20:04
the dispensary must also have an alcohol and drug free workplace policy
20:09
the dispensary is required to report to law enforcement any theft diversion or
20:14
loss of the product within 24 hours after its discovered
20:19
because the dispensing organizations are permitted to transport the products
20:22
throughout the state for delivery to the patient
20:25
wholesale purchases or to other facilities and testing laboratories
20:28
certain requirements must be met by the organization during the transportation
20:32
process transportation manifest must be created and maintained for no less than
20:38
one year vehicles used to transport must be kept in good working order the
20:44
products must be locked in a separate compartment or container within the
20:47
vehicle to people must be in the vehicle during transportation and one person
20:52
must remain in the vehicle at all times
20:55
safety and security training must be provided by the dispensing organization
20:59
to the employees responsible for transportation of the products
21:03
the department is authorized to impose reasonable finds not to exceed ten
21:08
thousand dollars against a dispensing organization for violating 381 . nine
21:14
eight six four ninety 90 to 95 or any department rules relating to the
21:19
dispensing organizations failing to maintain qualifications for approval as
21:24
a dispensing organization endangering a qualified patients health safety or
21:28
security and properly disclosing personal and confidential patient
21:32
information
21:33
attempting to procure approval as a dispensary by bribe fraud or extortion
21:38
being convicted or found guilty of
21:41
regardless of adjudication a crime directly relating to the business of a
21:46
dispensing organization making or filing a report or record that the organization
21:51
knows to be false willfully failing to maintain required records willfully
21:57
impeding or obstructing employees or agents of the Department engaging in
22:02
fraud deceit negligence incompetence or misconduct in the business practice of
22:07
the organization making misleading deceptive or fraudulent representations
22:12
in or related to the business practice of the organization
22:15
having a license or authority to engage in any regulated profession or
22:20
occupation or business related to the business practices of a dispensing
22:24
organization acted against by any other jurisdiction if the violation is one
22:29
that would constitute a violation under Florida law violating a lawful order of
22:34
the department or agency of the state or failing to comply with a lawfully issued
22:39
subpoena of the department or agency of the state
22:42
now that we’ve covered the requirements of patients physicians and dispensing
22:46
organizations
22:48
it’s appropriate to consider the requirements and authorizations of the
22:51
department in enforcing the statute the department creates and maintains the
22:56
registry including information on patients legal representatives ordering
23:00
physicians and dispensaries law enforcement agencies are allowed access
23:05
to that registry in order to carry out their duties related to possible
23:09
violations of this statute or chapter 893 the department also creates and
23:16
maintains information that is available to the public that includes all approved
23:20
dispensing organizations including the medical director of the organization and
23:24
all physicians qualified to order the department also has the authority to
23:29
create registration cards for the qualified patients and their authorized
23:33
legal representatives
23:35
section 3 81 . 986 includes a carved out exception to the regulations of chapter
23:41
eight ninety three four individuals in lawful possession of the products in
23:45
compliance with the statute
23:47
this means if someone is possessing the product outside of what is permitted
23:52
they could be subject to prosecution criminally for a violation of chapter
23:56
eight 93 in furtherance the department’s responsibilities in regulating the use
24:02
of low THC and medical cannabis
24:05
the department is given inspection authority over dispensing organizations
24:08
which can be carried out at any time
24:11
the department is mandated to inspect a dispensary
24:14
if the department receives information that the products contain mold bacteria
24:18
or contaminants that could potentially cause adverse effects to the health of
24:23
patients or the environment
24:25
although we’ve made clear that any activity occurring outside of the
24:29
confines of section 3 81 . 986 could lead to possible criminal and
24:34
administrative actions
24:36
there are specific violations that could be anticipated now that the statute is
24:40
being implemented any organization or party dispensing or distributing
24:45
cannabis low THC cannabis or medical cannabis that is not one of the six
24:50
approved organizations does not have the authority to do so under Florida law if
24:57
a physician orders the product outside the confines of the statute for example
25:01
if the physician writes a prescription for or dispenses the product from his or
25:06
her own office or from any other organization besides one of the six
25:10
approved organizations they are in violation of the statute physicians
25:15
aren’t writing prescriptions under this law only ordering the product through
25:20
the registry
25:21
if a physician orders for a patient who has not been registered in The
25:24
Compassionate Use registry or for more than a 45 day supply for the patient
25:29
they are operating in violation of the statute additionally a medical director
25:34
could possibly be held liable for the actions of the dispensing organization
25:38
if the organization or its employees failed to comply with the requirements
25:43
of the statute because the department is the authorized regulatory agency for the
25:48
dispensing organizations as well as possible licensees operating outside of
25:53
the confines of the statute potential violations should be reported to the
25:58
Department of Health for review and investigation as appropriate
26:02
it’s important to note that no one may legally order or have the products at
26:06
this point because the dispensing organizations are not yet fully
26:10
operational
26:11
the office of compassion it uses the regulatory arm of the department tasked
26:16
with the regulation of dispensing organizations
26:19
however the division of medical quality assurance or mqa is the regulatory arm
26:24
of the department that handles complaints against individual licensees
26:28
and certain types of businesses including pharmacies mqa also handles
26:33
initial licensure of the individuals and businesses
26:36
it regulates
26:38
all licensees regulated by mqa can be reviewed by accessing the link found at
26:43
the bottom of this slide for our present purposes
26:46
the only licensees that can order the products under Section 3 81 . 986
26:52
florida statutes are medical doctors and osteopathic physicians the MQA complaint
26:58
prosecution and compliance process are all handled by different divisions
27:02
within mq as regulatory structure initial complaints are received and
27:06
evaluated by the consumer services unit or CSU CSU or the investigative services
27:12
unit is you will investigate the legally sufficient complaints
27:16
CSU which is located in Tallahassee can handle investigation of cases that do
27:21
not require local or fieldwork is you will investigate some or all of those
27:26
complaints requiring local or field work
27:29
once the investigation is completed CSU or is you will prepare an investigative
27:34
report and forward that to the prosecution services unit or psu for
27:39
review and prosecution as appropriate
27:42
if a case concludes through the full disciplinary process and a final order
27:46
is issued the compliance management unit c mu will ensure the licensees
27:52
compliance with the final order importantly the department is mandated
27:56
to report any and all possible criminal violations pursue it to section 456 .
28:01
066 florida statutes
28:03
this is applicable to all of the affirmation divisions in the MQA
28:07
enforcement process although a possible criminal violation may not come to light
28:12
in the investigation phase of a case it must still be reported if discovered
28:16
later by the Department this slide represents the current supervisory
28:22
structure for the Department of Health
28:23
CSU is you and CMU units there are local is you district supervisors in the north
28:30
central and southern parts of the state our field operations manager is house
28:35
out of Jupiter Florida and all other supervisors are located in tallahassee
28:39
florida this line represents the current is you managers and supervisors as well
28:45
as each of the 11 field offices we have throughout the state and the phone
28:49
numbers for each office
28:51
PSU is located in Tallahassee Florida psu has four sections and fifty two
28:56
attorneys devoted to the review and prosecution of all cases investigated by
29:01
the department
29:02
each section has a section manager supervising the activities of all
29:06
attorneys and staff located within the section the medical section handles
29:11
physicians physician assistants electrologist pain management clinics
29:15
office surgery centers and dietetics and nutrition the nursing section handles
29:20
all nursing licensees
29:22
all pharmacy licensees and podiatrists the Allied section handles every other
29:27
profession listed on the previously mentioned link including osteopathic
29:32
physicians the emergency action unit handles all cases in which a licensee
29:36
poses an immediate serious danger to public health safety or welfare this
29:42
unit covers all professions regulated by the Department the unlicensed activity
29:47
unit handles cease and desist orders and citations to individuals or businesses
29:51
practicing without a license that is regulated by the Department mqa provides
29:57
individuals needing to file a complaint against a person or entity a
30:01
user-friendly web page to facilitate filing of both complaints against
30:05
individuals or licensees regulated by the department
30:08
as well as information or links to other agencies for complaints that aren’t
30:14
regulated by the Department this easy to use web page is found at www.piofl.com
30:20
complaint . gov if the complaint is against a profession regulated by mqa
30:27
the user will be provided with a link to an electronic complaint form that will
30:31
ultimately be submitted to the consumer services unit for review
30:35
this slide shows what a copy of that complaint form typically looks like for
30:40
licensed individuals as well as a link to that PDF form
30:45
we are now going to cover the general disciplinary process that complainants
30:49
can expect to occur in cases prosecuted by the Department against licensees the
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purpose in doing so is to provide information on expected time frames and
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legal requirements that the department must abide by in order to enforce laws
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and rules against licensees and violation
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once the complaint is filed investigation is completed and the cases
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referred to psu for review the receiving attorney will review the case and make a
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determination of whether an administrative complaint should be
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recommended the department and PS you do not have the unilateral authority to
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file administrative complaints which are the formal charging documents against a
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licensee chapter 4 56 provides that a probable-cause panel of the board or
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department when applicable must make the determination that probable cause
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does or does not exist to proceed the entire case including all documents
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obtained through the department’s investigation is confidential until 10
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days after a probable-cause panel determines that probable cause exists if
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probable cause is not found the case will remain private and exempt from
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public disclosure if a probable cause finding is made the Department will file
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an administrative complaint with the agency clerk and initiate disciplinary
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action against the licensee disciplinary proceedings against licensees who have a
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vested property interest in their licenses are governed by chapter 1 20 of
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the florida statutes known as the Administrative Procedures Act
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as well as certain other procedural rules found in chapter 4 56 and the
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florida administrative code these statutes and rules require actual notice
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of any administrative complaint be given to a licensee through certain prescribed
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means licensees are permitted to respond to an administrative complaint within 21
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days of receiving notice if they do not they are considered to have waived their
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right to dispute the administrative complaint or otherwise elected method to
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resolve the complaint if a licensing does timely respond
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they may elect to agree to or not dispute the material facts alleged in
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the administrative complaint this affords them an opportunity to appear
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before the board or department and present evidence in support of
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mitigation of any penalty imposed if a licensee disputes the material facts
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alleged in the administrative complaint
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the complaint must be resolved through the referral to the division of
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administrative hearings or Dora
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this is commonly referred to as a formal hearing the Department carries the
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burden of proof in these proceedings and that burden is clear and convincing
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evidence the Florida rules of evidence generally apply to these proceedings
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with a few exceptions
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here’s an example of where clear and convincing evidence falls on the scale
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of burdens of proof
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it is just below the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt which is applicable to
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criminal cases it is important to note both the burden of proof and the
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evidentiary requirements of department prosecution’s because reliable and
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admissible evidence will be necessary to successfully prosecute cases against
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licensees operating in violation of section 3 81 . 986 florida statutes
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if the evidence cannot be obtained or the burden cannot be met
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the Department will be unable to proceed with investigation or prosecution of
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complaints filed against licensees
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it is also important to note that unlike purely civil actions licensees are able
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to invoke their right to remain silent and licensure disciplinary proceedings
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thus they may not be compelled to testify if they believe they would
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incriminate themselves with any answers that they may give once a case proceeds
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through a formal hearing at Dora the administrative law judge hearing the
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case will issue a recommended order they do not have final order authority and
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Department licensure disciplinary cases the recommended order is then presented
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to the appropriate board or Department typically within 90 days and the board
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will either adopt the recommended order reject all or part of the recommended
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order and issue a penalty as appropriate
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this is done in the form of a final order which concludes the disciplinary
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process for that case this slide gives a general overview of the disciplinary
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process we’ve just discussed in the form of a flowchart
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the box is outlined with a green border are the only public portions of the
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department’s disciplinary process for more information please visit the
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department’s office of compassionate use website
Published on Jun 17, 2016

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