Gadsden County Nursery Approved to Grow Medical Marijuana

Hackney Nursery
Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 05:41:47-05

QUINCY, FL (WTXL) -- A Gadsden County nursery has been approved to grow and dispense medical marijuana.

This comes more than a year after Governor Scott signed a bill legalizing a non-euphoric form of the plant.

For more than 30 years, Hackney Nursery has specialized in outdoor landscaping plants. But next year, they'll be one of just five nurseries in the state to introduce a new kind of crop.

George Hackney oversees several million plants every years, but he says adding marijuana to the mix was a logical choice.

"We looked at it as an opportunity to diversify our business and hopefully not be so dependent on the landscape shrub market," Hackney said.

But for Hackney, it's more than just an extra stream of income. He says it's about helping children battling epilepsy.

"These children have seizures - some of them as many as 100 a day, and just to talk to their parents, their life is miserable," Hackney said, "and this helps reduce the number of seizures they have."

Doctors have been waiting for the state to move forward with legislation. Joseph Dorn says the approved form of marijuana would benefit some patients more than current treatment options.

"They're not going to be for everyone, but I do feel like, in order to adequately treat some patients, that we need to kind of think outside the box," Dorn said.

"It's not a plant that'll get you high," Hackney said. "What we'll have is an oil that is very specific to children with epilepsy."

The nursery has about seven months to start dispensing, but Hackney expects to get going as soon as possible.

Hackney will meet with county officials Wednesday to move forward on preparing an off-site secure warehouse in Quincy, where more than 500 cannabis plants will be housed, to start.

Once the nursery starts dispensing, it will have retail locations in Tallahassee, Quincy and the Pensacola-Fort Walton area.