Stuart Seeger

Christian Bax, Director of Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), has resigned, the News Service of Florida reports. Bax was often blamed for delays and difficulties in awarding licenses in Florida’s young medical cannabis market.

One of Bax’s staunchest critics is John Morgan, an Orlando trial lawyer who was the primary backer of Florida’s medical cannabis constitutional amendment. Morgan was jubilant at the news of Bax’s resignation.

“He was so inept that it had to be intentional. Anyone would be better and more capable. He was to health care in Florida what Barney Fife was to law enforcement. This is a great day for the sick and injured in Florida.” — John Morgan, in an email

Some still defend Bax, however, saying it’s easy to expect hardships when developing a market from scratch that’s expected to handle $2 billion in sales. Bax’s predecessor, Patty Nelson, passed the post on to Bax due to the job’s difficulty, choosing instead to become a private consultant.

“There’s no denying it’s a hard job. It sometimes feels like an impossible job. And you face critics from every direction, which makes it difficult to navigate.” — Patty Nelson, via News Service of Forida

Taking over for Bax is the Deputy Director of the OMMU, Courtney Coppola. Coppola’s first challenge will be a fresh wave of applications for new medical cannabis licenses; more than 400 applicants are expected for just four available licenses.

To help the process, Florida legislators earlier this month approved more than $13 million in new funding.

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