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10 Things to Know About Florida’s Medical Marijuana Bill

June 9, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature on Friday finally approved a bill establishing a framework for the state’s constitutional amendment expanding medical marijuana. The amendment, approved by 71 percent of voters in November, states that laws must be in place by July 3 and enacted three months later.

Here are some highlights:

Conditions Covered

Epilepsy, chronic muscle spasms, cancer and terminal conditions were allowed under bills passed in 2014 and 2016. The amendment now includes HIV and AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and similar conditions.

Related

Florida Governor: ‘I Absolutely Will Sign’ Medical Marijuana Bill

Patients & Caregivers

Patients and caregivers must be 21 and over. If a patient is a minor, a caregiver must be certified. Both must also receive an identification card. Advocates still would like to see caregivers not subject to penalties if they have to administer marijuana in the case of an emergency.

No Smoking

Smoking medical marijuana remains prohibited despite public demand. John Morgan, the driving force behind getting the amendment on the ballot last year and passed, said the only place where smoking is banned is in public places and intends to sue.

Related

The different ways to smoke and consume cannabis

Products

Besides vaping, medical marijuana products can be sold as edibles (as long as it is a food product and does not market or appeal to children), oils, sprays or tinctures. Vaping cartridges, especially whole-flower products, must be in a tamper-proof container.

Patient Supplies

Patients may receive an order for three 70-day supplies before having to visit a doctor again to get re-examined. A physician must recertify a patient at least once every 30 weeks instead of once every 90 days.

No Waiting Period

The requirement that a patient be in the care of a certified doctor for 90 days has been removed. The waiting period, which was a part of the last two bills signed by Gov. Rick Scott, came under more scrutiny when cannabis was extended last year to terminal patients. Also, the certification course for doctors has been reduced from eight hours to two.

Related

Why more seniors are using cannabis to sleep

Snowbirds Welcome

Seasonal residents –those who reside in Florida at least 31 straight days each year, maintain temporary residence and are registered to vote or pay income tax in another state– will be eligible to receive medical marijuana.

More Treatment Centers

There will be 10 additional medical marijuana treatment centers by October. Five will be awarded by August 1 to nurseries that were narrowly defeated when the original distributors were selected in December 2015. Of the other five that will be awarded by October, one will go to a group of black farmers with citrus growers given preference to two others. By the end of the year there could be as many as 19 treatment centers.

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New License Requirements Relaxed

Instead of a nursery needing to be in business for 30 years, any Florida business that has been operating five or more years and has a medical director on staff can file an application.

Growing Market

There is a cap of 25 retail facilities per medical marijuana treatment center but it allows for four more shops per 100,000 patients with that cap subject to expire in 2020. Four more centers will be licensed per 100,000 patients. The state forecasts 472,000 patients in five years.

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  • massman

    There’s no legalization without home grows.

  • Diab

    I’m a native of Tampa. Where’s the doctors to go to, what exactly are the steps for a terminally ill person to take to receive marijuana? And lastly why haven’t we kicked Scott out of office by now? He looks like he’s got a penis for a head.

    • Beach Potato

      Click on the Dr. locator, shows a bunch in the Tampa area….Nothing wrong with Gov Scott. Nice attitude you have Diab.

      • Diab

        There’s a giant pesticide factory that had a sinkhole open up here in Florida.
        It’s been spewing chemicals into the local water sources since 2016.
        The company laid out tarps to try and stop as much chemicals as possible.
        This is news that’s been deliberately held from the public.
        The one time it did air , Gov. Scott stated ” as long as it doesn’t rain then the chemical pollutant should be contained”.
        Problem is , it has rained and the pesticides are leaking to this day into local water sources.
        Upon further investigating Scott, it turns out he owns shares in large part to this company and instead of paying millions to fill the sink hole that caused this issue , they opted for a quick fix .
        This information is all available for the people who care enough to search for it.
        Rick Scotts had a history of coverups and misappropriations of funds.
        So yes, there is something wrong with Rick Scott
        Good news is he will be rid of soon as Gov.
        #justapuppet

        • Beach Potato

          I checked, fake news. Not the problem Diab is intoxicated with……calm down and have legal alcohol….

          • Diab

            Your right. I was wrong to say the information was available for anyone to access it as some aren’t capable of researching specific subjects. Of course those people get frustrated with there shortcomings and make excuses by deeming it fake news.
            Another evident issue is the mental midget syndrome with those same few using simple verbiage to insult others that may make you feel out of the loop or given your age outdated perhaps in an rant using grade school dissection is rather ironic.
            Rick Scott is a crook and this is well known.
            But please continue your banter in place of the topic of real legalization of marijuana in the state of Florida, if not but for our amusement.

          • Honesty

            Gee a crook in politics…LOL Like he is the only one that ever has been a crook and governor of this state.

          • Diab

            That’s true as you can’t have a career in politics without sacrificing moral values and honest fortitude.
            Only when we dissolve current standards or lack there of with politics and redefine the meaning of such to hold to a high level as holding those accountable in the harshest manner, criminally, can we diminish any of those running for office with the intent to use corruption as a tool for financial gains or lie for personal agendas.
            Once implemented only the honest and fair would attempt to seize those offices.
            First we need to arrest those currently abusing their seats.

        • Honesty

          And he will be replaced by another politician that could be worse. There are no saints in politics.

    • Joe

      The steps are to die first and cannabis later

    • Nick

      I think so too. I was gonna right it but thought they would flag it. GOOD GOING MY FRIEND

      • Diab

        Haha truth needs to be posted

  • Diab

    And where’s the home growers at?

  • lovingc

    What is the obsession about smoking? This the fastest rout of administration to relief from the ailments. There has to be a real reason not to ingest by smoking or this is just a republican afraid some one might get happy!
    Get these asses out of your government, they are not people that are concerned about your health or well being. All they seem to be interested in is having control of people illegally.

    • Richard Wade

      Vaping works also….

  • Regina Kobald-Lande

    i live in the villages, fl. are you aware of any plans for mmj treatment centers in my area?

  • Rob Woodside

    I’m sick and tired of people with Reefer Madness telling us how to use marijuana. This Florida law is typical. Marijuana should be available in grocery stores just like coffee beans! Most jurisdictions already sell alcohol in grocery stores.

    • Joe

      Yes it should

    • Richard Wade

      regulateflorida.com/printpetition/

      Full legalization is 2018!!!!!

  • Ian Levinson

    This is a No brainer. With ALL overdoses and prescription pain med problems. If you Legalize marijuana most of the problem will go away.

  • AAMCO

    LAWSUITS motherfuckers, 5 years as a nursery, half our current growers brought people in because they couldn’t teach themselves to grow Marijuana. Nothing is going to happen, we have injunctions and a lot of court dates ahead

  • Doc Williams

    I’m a cancer patient. I originally saw the doctor over 90 days ago and qualified quite easily. 15 minutes with the doctor, 250 dollars. I waited the 3 months and went back to the doctor, actually a nurse this time,15 minutes, 150 dollars and was given a card to send to the State along with 75 more dollars. I waited 3 weeks for the card to come in the mail after being told it would take 7 to 10 days but other patients told me would be closer to 20 days. Today I called the dept of compassion care and was told there is only 2 people working this dept now and it could take a month and a half. Does anyone else see a problem with this?? I can get perks oxy’s and zanex today without waiting. And cheap, as my insurance covers them at no cost. I’m trying to be a legitimate/legal patient but this is totally ridiculous. I’m now going to my black market dealer for real bud and the day before my next chemo treatment, I’m going to sit out in my front yard and burn them hooters until the cops come get me. Then when I miss my treatment standing in front of the judge listening to even more bs about smoking is not included and I’m being arrested for that as I plead for innocence and beg/plead to go get my chemo treatment. I’ve got time and not a trouble maker but enough is enough and this whole thing is a joke with all the control and money flow going completely to the wrong people. Next election many political people need to go. I’ll do my part, please help and do your part too. Thanks

    • Richard Wade

      I am tracking my “representative”- Neal Dunn- and will actively work against him if the clear will of the 71% is not embraced by him. Google your representative, send e-mails as necessary and make sure your representative is truly working for your interests. The concept of democrat v. republican is flawed. I almost always vote against the incumbent unless he has shown himself to support my interests. Those in Tallahassee and Washington don’t care about us- only in what is best for their self-interest.

      • Honesty

        Yes both parties put their self-interest before those of the citizens.

    • bonees f

      In 2014 we paid $350 to an organization that provided caregiver and legal support for my wife to do the rick simpson protocol instead of chemo. It was based on the legal precedent set in the 1990s when someone won a case when he was growing medical marijuana for his terminally ill wife. With proof of cancer diagnosis and the money we received a 1 year certificate and then paid a caregiver $3000 for 3 months worth of the oil. He said at the time that legalization would be bad for him and us and now I see he was right. The certificate gave us the right to grow up to 75 plants and although I bought the equipment I was never able to get around to actually starting a grow. The police would not necessary recognize this certificate and might still arrest us but the organization would provide a lawyer to represent us and make the judge aware of the legality of our grow. My wife has done very well, disregarding doctors orders for aggressive chemo but we want to make paste in order to increase her chances of staying healthy. Now its unclear to me what I can do legally but the thing to research is the Florida medical necessity defense.

  • US Veteran

    in your news articles I wish that you would include the dates because most of the time I do NOT know if it is new news or old news

  • Beach Potato

    Don’t get angry about the foot dragging….I always wonder what they have against this plant. I spent 3 years out west and the attitude is completely different and also the knowledge of the plant and how it helps so many difficulties…..But in Florida its still the Boogie man. Keeping a dispensary from 500 ft of any school is proof. My Winn Dixie liquor store is across the street from a school but no problem.
    I have ”post polio” and when the weak leg muscles flare up, I use MJ and have for years thanks to a heads up from Dr. Musslemann (RIP) who was the best Orthopedic Dr. I have ever had. My legs get Charlie horses that are painful and sometimes embarrassing but a little draw on my Pax vape and I get immediately relief. At 73 -I probably wont see Florida get it right….but maybe down the road they will realize Liquor is a big problem and kills a lot of people. Since no overdose problem with MJ. Keep high friends. The politicians hate it when you feel good and they don’t…..