The Florida Office of Medical Marijuana is a newly created division of Florida’s Department of Health and issued its Notice of Adoption on Monday moving medical marijuana one step closer to consumers. Ben Pollara of Florida for Care was quoted recently suggesting that medicinal marijuana will be available to new patients within the next couple of weeks. Amendment 2 that Florida voters approved last November mandated that all rules be implemented by October, so this would put the state well ahead of schedule. As anxious as patients may be, please be careful acquiring medical marijuana before confirming that all rules have officially been implemented by the Department of Health.
Florida health officials have announced new statewide medical marijuana rules.
Lobby Tools reports Monday that the newly renamed Office of Medical Marijuana Use at the Florida Department of Health published its Notice of Adoption to carry out legislation passed during the 2017 special session.
The emergency rulemaking process was authorized under SB 8A, which sought to implement the constitutional amendment passed in 2014, and exponentially grow Florida’s medical marijuana market beyond what was originally approved.
“This will enable the department to quickly implement the time-sensitive requirements of the legislation,” spokesperson Mara Gambineri said in an email Monday. “Following emergency rulemaking, the Department is committed to working collaboratively with the public through traditional rulemaking to establish a patient-centered medical marijuana program.”
Opponents, like state Sen. Jeff Brandes, said the bill created a regulated “state-sanctioned cartel.”
SB 8A allows medical marijuana to be used for the treatment of additional illnesses, including HIV and AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and similar conditions.
Bills passed in 2014 and 2016 limited the conditions to epilepsy, chronic muscle spasms, cancer and terminal conditions.
The 2017 law bans smoking medical marijuana but does allow vaping, edibles, oils, sprays and tinctures. Orlando attorney and Democratic activist John Morgan, who was behind the constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana, argues that smoking was part of his amendment. Morgan plans to sue the state.