Medical marijuana hopefuls file, and wait

Wednesday was the deadline to get the paperwork in.  Now it's just a matter of time.

Companies that want to produce medical marijuana may have to wait several months before they figure out which ones will get the green light from the state.

Grow Healthy, operating out of a former mattress factory in Lake Wales, was the first to file. It wants to produce cannabis oil, which can be made into pills or taken under the tongue.

Advocates of medical marijuana say it can alleviate pain from cancer, and calm seizures as a result of epilepsy.  

We're "excited about the future and possibilities," Don Clifford, CEO of Grow Healthy, told FOX 13.

About 100 nurseries statewide qualified to apply for a grow permit. A dozen or so were expected to throw their hat into the ring.

The application process is a costly one. Many companies hire a professional firm to file the paperwork, which can cost as much as $250,000. The actual application fee is another $60,000.

It has not been clear sailing for Grow Healthy. The company did not have enough land to meet state requirements, so it tried to lease property from a nearby church. After the deal fell through, the church burned to the ground.

The state Department of Health is expected to decide which companies will be able to grow medical marijuana by the fall.