Florida Legislature passes medical marijuana implementing bill
June 9, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Legislation implementing the medical marijuana amendment Florida voters approved last fall is on its way to the Governor.
The measure bounced back and forth between the House and Senate over a controversial amendment, but was approved in the legislature’s final minutes of the special session.
In the middle of debating medical marijuana, the Senate recessed for a half hour to draft a last minute amendment. The half hour tuned into an hour and a half.
The amendment gave the seven existing growers in Florida a year to comply with food safety rules, but required those filing for new licenses to meet the standards immediately. The amendment was later removed by the House.
Senator Tom Lee says it pinpoints what the legislation is really about.
“It becomes a whole lot more about money,” says Sen. Lee.
The issue of smokable marijuana raised the biggest argument between the chambers.
“I believe they all thought that the way they are going to be using this medicine for medical purposes is by smoking. I think that’s what everyone actually believes in their heart,” says Senator Kevin Radar.
Gainesville Senator Keith Perry supports the smoking prohibition.
“We’re going to treat this like a drug and this drug is a medicine, then this needs to be administered in a form that will not cause further harm to the patients,” says Sen. Perry.
Senator Dennis Baxley told the Senate he was voting “no” for his grandchildren.
“No matter what’s in the constitution, I still have concerns about this whole direction,” says Sen. Baxley.
Senator Rene Garcia was one of the eight to vote no, disagreeing with the leaving out of smokable marijuana.
“The fact that you can’t smoke it goes against what the voters of the state of Florida want,” Sen. Garcia.
In addition to a court challenge on smoking, the legislation is also likely to be challenged because it allows local governments to ban dispensaries within their borders.
June 9, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Legislation to enact Florida's medical marijuana constitutional amendment is headed to the desk of Governor Rick Scott.
The Senate and House approved the bill during the final day of the special session. The House passed it by a vote of 108-9 before the Senate voted 29-6.
Both chambers reached an agreement Wednesday that there would be a cap of 25 dispensaries per medical marijuana treatment center and that there would not be a sales tax.
The bill still bans smoking, despite amendment supporters saying smoking is written into the language.
The legislation allows patients who suffer chronic pain related to one of 10 qualifying conditions to receive either low-THC cannabis or full strength medical marijuana.
The amendment states that laws must be in place by July 3 with those enacted by October.
June 9, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Senate approved a bill expanding the use of medical marijuana by a 28-8 vote Friday.
The bill must now pass the House before it can go to Governor Rick Scott.
The bill collapsed on the final day of the regular session over disagreements about caps on retail dispensaries and if cannabis should be taxed.
Both chambers reached an agreement on the first day of the special session, deciding on a cap of 25 dispensaries per treatment center and no sales tax.
The legislation allows patients who suffer chronic pain related to one of 10 qualifying conditions to receive either low-THC cannabis or full strength medical marijuana..