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Politics

Scott Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

June 23, 2017 - 6:30pm

It’s official: Florida Gov. Scott has signed a bill to regulate Florida’s growing medical marijuana industry into law.


 The bill, SB 8A, was among 38 other proposals the governor signed into law on Friday.
 
Scott’s signature comes after a tumultuous several months for medical marijuana. State lawmakers planned for months to hammer out regulations for the medical marijuana industry after voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to expand the drug’s use for patients with "debilitating" conditions last November. 
 
Negotiations over how to regulate the drug collapsed, however, after lawmakers reached an impasse in May over exactly how many retail facilities medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) should be allowed to open. 
 
At the time, the House pushed a more generous measure, proposing Florida allow an unlimited number of dispensaries. That number was later pared down to 100, then 50, but senators said the number was too high and the legislation died.
 
Lawmakers called it quits during the regular legislative session, but with a sense of “mission unaccomplished” returned to the Florida Capitol this week to hammer out an agreement to appease the will of Florida voters who said “yes” to the constitutional amendment last fall.
 
Under the new proposal, which was carried by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, MMTCs would be limited to 25 retail facilities, a number both the House and Senate finally agreed upon after months of debate. 
 
The legislation allows for 10 new medical marijuana treatment centers to open by Oct. 3, in addition to the seven original growers already in operation.
 
The Senate bill would also set aside millions of dollars to research medical marijuana at Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center, one of the leading research institutes in the state. 
 
"This is still important, necessary legislation that provides patient access and begins to fulfill the will of [the] 71 percent [of voters,]" wrote Florida For Care executive director Ben Pollara earlier this month. 
 
SB 8A allows for edibles, vaping, oils and pill form of medical cannabis, but the current legislation prohibits smoking the drug, which has become a hot button issue for some medical marijuana advocates throughout the state.
 
Orlando attorney John Morgan, who was largely responsible for crafting the amendment, said he plans to sue the state to allow suffering patients to smoke the drug. 
 
“Great Scott!! I'll be filing my lawsuit for smoke as soon as it goes into law,” he wrote on Twitter. 
 
Morgan says state lawmakers didn’t quite understand the intent of Amendment 2, which he largely crafted with other pro-medical marijuana advocates.
 
“I don’t know what their problem is with smoke but that’s clearly the intent of the amendment,” Morgan said.  “I will get to sue them to allow medical marijuana to be smoked.”
 
Morgan told Sunshine State News Amendment 2 restricts patients from smoking the drug in public, but said the underlying implication is that medical marijuana can be smoked in the privacy of patients’ homes.  
 
“They’re making it a health issue like someone in chemotherapy is taking a few tokes,” Morgan said. “It’s a bunch of people who don't understand what they don't understand. When you're dying the last thing you care about is the smoke from marijuana."
 
 
 
 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


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Comments

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This one is easy - patient controlled grow. No need for all this bullshit. Drive private suppliers out.

they have the need...the need (to make money and hoist the smoking dope more accessible to everyone...then come the wonderful lawsuits)....no one is fooled. you have oils and vape?...this is and always has been about smoking weed. (and the money like someone is "great scotting" already). Moving too quick John.

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I am so glad to hear your son is doing good. :) I am sad to hear about your husband passing, sending hugs.

It's such a joke! I have MS, heart disease, PTSD, and a few other health issues. I called a Distillery, and was told I'd have to see a MJ certified doctor, cost $250! Then wait 90 days! And insurance covers NOTHING! All out of pocket! I already pay $200 a month for medications! All I want to try are gummies without THC! I don't want to get "high", I just want relief from my constant pain without all these hoops! It might help me to stop taking four of the 24 pills I take daily..... Might as well buy it from the guy on the street corner, and not deal with a government that's simply trying to figure out a way to put more money in their pockets!!! We are all adults and MJ should simply be legalised for everyone!

I so agree. I have the same situation. My pharmacist said I could probably go off of three meds and stop having seizures with mj use. Having only 25 dispensaries in Florida is absolutely ridiculous! This legislature did not want it and are making it so hard for very sick people to get the help, stop having pain, stop having SEIZURES! Better hope they never get really sick. This is not how I planned my life going.

Me too!

Know anything about the 90 day wait period!?!

Yes, if you read the amended text here (SB-8 A) that Gov. Scott signed (or is on his desk for signature), it removed the 90 day wait period and allows the physician to fill out the forms directly. Here is link to amended bill with all info: http://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/BillSummaries/2017A/html/1683 To person above with MS: I also have MS and suffer with chronic pain, which is why I have been following this and supporting it. Although some may not be happy with the outcome of this due to not being able to smoke it, I am happy that the 90 day wait period has been removed and the process can be sped up to hopefully get off of these nasty pain meds that make me feel like a zombie. I don't want the THC, I just want pain and inflammation relief ;) Hope you find relief as well!

Supposedly it's gone.

Thank you so much John Morgan fit your continued fight for all of us in Florida that needed to have cannabis made legal. There is still a long way to go but you helped to not only open that door, but you got your foot in the door and that's huge! I have faith you will take us all the way to a much better and healthier life! Yes, the money paid to the dispensaries is creating a hardship, but I have faith in things getting better. If you need volunteers or speakers please don't hesitate to ask for our help! Again, Thank You John Morgan!!

I want to know if smoking pot is as bad as tobacco? Can you get cancer an heart problems from smoking pot?

Do some research. no one has ever got cancer from smoking cannabis alone.,

the short answer is no. the risk of cancer is far less when smoking cannabis, and there is no indication of heart problem or even lung problems. Cannabis actually has chemicals that are brochodialators, and you can use cannabis to treat COPD.

Never heard of any canna product that helps in any measurable way copd,i know from irect interaction

The dispensaries are robbing us blind! Cannot afford to keep buying from them. We need to be able to grow our own medicine! Our Creator put these plants on this planet to heal us. No one has the right to deem it illegal.

I agree 100000% Home Grown is Best :) Spiritual Cannabis Growers Needed and Home Grown Medical Cannabis is also needed.

I could not agree more. We aren't really any better off with this new legislation than we were before. First, it is nearly impossible to get in to see a doctor certified to treat with CBD/THC. After that, assuming you get the approval, you then have to come up with lots of money to pay out of pocket for a product that you could simply grow and process yourself. But, oh, we have a nice new law don't we! Now that we have this lousy legislation we probably don't stand a chance of getting actually workable legislation anytime soon. All this rigamorole over a plant! The government should get the heck out of our medical choices. In the final analysis, it may be cheaper to pay criminal lawyers to help you if you get caught growing your own medicine than it will be to keep buying it at the dispensaries.

Okay people, listen up. Grow it, smoke it, and break the law. Or just buy it. It is everywhere. If you can't find it, ask friends or relatives. Someone will know how to get it. If we all do this and use jury nullification the government will have to finally fold on this one like they did with prohibition. You can illegally purchased 1 oz. of butter pot (cheaper stuff) for $100, cook it in 4 sticks of butter etc. Those four stick make four batches of brownies each with 9 pieces. Cut those pieces in half and you have 18 doses from one batch. So for $100 and cost of cooking supplies you get 72 doses for just about $110. See if the government can beat that.

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