Legislators in the Florida House passed a bill recently giving patients access to smokeable forms of medical marijuana. Senate Bill 182 allows medical cannabis patients access to up to 2.5 ounces of flower within a 45-day period, based on a doctor’s recommendation. Patients can possess up to four ounces.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had pushed for the bill, imposed a deadline of March 15 on legislators, hoping to resolve an issue that had been festering for far too long in the state.
“The Florida Legislature has taken a significant step this week to uphold the will of the voters and support the patients who will gain relief as a result of this legislation,” DeSantis said in a statement via email which praised politicians in both the House and Senate.
“President Bill Galvano, Speaker Jose Oliva, Senator Jeff Brandes, and Representative Ray Rodrigues have done a tremendous job working hard to ensure the voices of Floridians are heard. I commend them for their diligence on this issue,” he continued.
Gov. DeSantis announces his support for smokeable medical cannabis
The Long and Winding Road To Patient’s Rights
Although Floridians overwhelmingly approved of medical marijuana when it was legalized in 2016, Amendment 2 — the official legislation which brought medical marijuana to the state — only allowed for certain types of delivery methods. Under then-Gov. Rick Scott, residents of the state could only purchase medical marijuana as a pill, oil, edible, or vape product.
Smokeable marijuana products were banned under the new law.
Legal battles commenced almost immediately, with People United for Medical Marijuana and Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan filing a case against the ban, one that they ultimately won. Scott, however, appealed the decision.
DeSantis, who won the election in November, decide not to continue the challenge, ordering legislators to find a solution by the deadline as mentioned above. He now has until Wednesday to sign the bill into law.
“Today’s action to finally allow smokable medical marijuana brings four words to the lips of people across our state: ‘It’s about damn time,’ ” said Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “I’m thankful for the House and Senate’s work to fix this situation.”
So, What Happens Next?
With the governor expected to sign the bill shortly, smokeable cannabis products could be available in dispensaries around the state within a few weeks to a few months, depending on how fast the particulars are handled. According to most reports, however, experts believe that government officials will expedite the process.
The new bill also establishes a Medical Marijuana Research and Education Board which would oversee a research consortium by the state university system’s Board of Governors. Legislators set aside $1.5 million in total for research purposes in the bill.
As with other forms of medical cannabis, patients seeking smokeable marijuana will need a recommendation from their physician first. At Marijuana Doctor, we’re here to help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Our board-certified physicians will evaluate you to determine if you may benefit from medical marijuana.
And after you’ve received your recommendation, we’ll help you with the registration process with the Florida Department of Health as well. Best of all, our process is risk-free with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. If you don’t qualify, you don’t pay.
If you believe that you may qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Call us at (844) 442-0362 or schedule your free consultation online.
On November 8th, 2016, 71 percent of Florida voters showed their support for the legalization of medical marijuana. This legislation legalized vaporized, edible and oil forms of marijuana, however, it did not legalize smoking medical marijuana.
Orlando lawyer and medical marijuana advocate, John Morgan, filed a lawsuit on behalf of 2 patients. One of these patients suffers from HIV & neuropathy while the other has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) Both of these patients would benefit greatly from being able to legally smoke marijuana.
The State argued that smoking marijuana was not an effective medical treatment. Lawmakers also claimed that this was a clandestine attempt to legalize recreational pot.
Luckily, Judge Karen Gievers decided that the State’s argument was irrelevant. She said that the testimonies of the patients that have experienced the therapeutic effects of smokable marijuana were much more compelling than the testimonies of the State’s handpicked medical experts. As a result, Judge Gievers ruled the ban on smoking medical marijuana unconstitutional on May 25th 2018.
This was a huge win for the medical marijuana movement. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. Devin Galetta of the Department of Health, filed an appeal which put an immediate stay on the ruling.
John Morgan has continued to fight for patient access to smokable medical marijuana. He said, “The voters of Florida wanted this. It was clear in the intent language and in the ballot language. Smoked marijuana is the most effective and quickest delivery system, period.” Morgan has also claimed the stay may have something to do with the relationship between politicians and ‘Big Pharma’. The opioid industry is booming. Pharmaceutical companies could potentially lose millions of dollars.
Furthermore, Morgan continues to call out Florida Governor, Rick Scott, saying that he has the power to drop the appeal. “(Scott) is going to have to explain to veterans and really sick people and people who have really bad injuries why you kept this going,” he said. He went on to say, “Rick Scott is the boss and the buck stops there.” Morgan claims by not doing so, he is “playing with political wildfire” since the majority of Florida voters voted in favor of all forms of medical marijuana.
Judge Gievers is supposed to make a decision on the appeal any day now. Morgan has also said that if he has to, he will expedite it to the State Supreme Court to force a resolution. Scott will be forced to move forward on a topic he’s been fighting against for years if the ban is lifted.
71 percent of Florida voters have agreed that smoking medical marijuana should be legal. Delaying access to this incredible medicine is cruel and unnecessary; no one should have to live in pain.
If you’re a Florida resident interested in becoming a Marijuana Doctor Patient, book your free consultation today!