October 23, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/19/2019

Florida wants to import medicine from Canada. But how would that work?

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last week that, if federal authorities give it their go-ahead — still a very big if — would allow his state to import prescription drugs from Canada. That makes Florida the third state to pass such a law, joining Vermont and Colorado. More such legislative attempts are in the works. So what exactly is Florida's plan to import certain drugs from Canada, and how would it work? [Source: NPR]

See also:
» New survey suggests some Floridians skeptical of the idea of importing prescription drugs in an effort to lower prices

Florida’s timber industry literally rotting away after Hurricane Michael

The Florida Forest Service estimates that Michael left roughly 72 million tons of rotting timber on the ground. About 13 percent has been cleared in what is expected to be a five to seven-year effort. On June 6, President Trump signed a federal aid package worth billions for recovery from catastrophic disasters, allotting nearly $500 million to help timber farmers in the Florida Panhandle. The package covers 75 percent of the damage, recovery and reforestation costs, leaving farmers responsible for the remaining 25 percent. But after living through the worst storm to ever strike the Panhandle, some farmers are already fighting for economic survival. [Source: FOX News]

Medical marijuana: A Catch-22 for Florida residents, researchers

Ask nearly any scientist in Florida who wants to conduct clinical research on cannabis, and expect to hear echoes of a similar strain: The status of medical marijuana in the Sunshine State is currently hazy -- ask again later. But for thousands of chronically ill patients who rely on the relief they insist cannabis provides, waiting on science is not an option when quality of life is at stake. [Source: 83 Degrees Media]

What a vast plume of Saharan dust means for hurricane season

A vast field of Saharan dust has overtaken the Atlantic basin in a brown plume clearly visible on GOES East satellite imagery. The aerosolized soil from west Africa dries out the atmosphere over the percolating cyclone zone and is an indicator of a punchy wind shear that discourages tropical development. While Saharan dust may be playing a role in quashing some tropical activity, it’s also early in the season. The active part of the year doesn’t really begin until August when tropical waves start cartwheeling off the west coast of Africa with the potential to become big Cabo Verde hurricanes. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Proposed constitutional amendment on Florida consumer “energy choice” gets fire from all sides

A proposed state constitutional amendment promising choice to electricity consumers has achieved the rare feat of alienating nearly everyone in Florida politics, from the GOP establishment that runs Tallahassee to progressive environmental groups that traditionally challenge utility monopolies. [Source: Florida Phoenix]

Serving families, helping his neighbors

Miami doctor Inaki Bent, the first in his family to attend college, has dedicated his career to caring for the underserved. He’s grateful to the Florida Lottery’s Bright Futures Scholarship for helping make it possible for him to give back to the community. He’s now an active volunteer in the community where he grew up, inspiring kids who may not have other role models. [Sponsored report]


› In the Miami suburbs, trash days will be a bit more expensive this fall
Miami-Dade residents who rely on the county for trash pick-up will pay more in the fall after a Tuesday vote to increase garbage fees by about 4 percent. The charge, added to property tax bills each year, goes into effect Oct. 1. The typical property will pay an extra $20 a year under the new fee schedule approved by Miami-Dade commissioners in a narrow vote.

› Fattmerchant named Fastest Growing FinTech Company in Central Florida
Fattmerchant, an integrated payment solution with omni-channel technology and a disruptive subscription-based pricing model, has been selected as a recipient of Orlando Business Journal’s 2019 Fast 50: Central Florida’s Fastest Growing Companies award. The annual list recognizes the region’s fastest-growing firms, ranked by percentage of revenue growth between 2016 and 2018.

› New business-backed initiative seeks investors to revive Florida's film industry
Since the credits rolled on state incentives for filming in Florida, the economic impact from big-ticket productions that left the Sunshine State, such as "Ballers" and "Bloodline," have yet to be replaced. A new initiative aims to change that. Feature Florida Partnerships is seeking dollars from private-sector investors who can help attract independent feature films valued between $2 million and $12 million to South Florida and other regions across the state.

› Payne to retire from UF/IFAS
The top agriculture official at the University of Florida plans to retire within the next year. Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, plans to retire next June. UF President Kent Fuchs released an administrative memo on Friday announcing Payne’s retirement and that UF officials will start a search for his replacement.

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The Sunshine Skyway is a lot more colorful
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