A Republican senator has filed a measure to get rid of all the medical marijuana laws on Florida's books and start from scratch.
On Thursday, Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed legislation to implement the constitutional amendment to expand medical marijuana and regulate the industry in the Sunshine State.
The proposal would start Florida over with a clean slate for regulating medical marijuana by repealing the current laws on the books for the low-THC medical marijuana industry.
Brandes is filing the measure as an amendment to the Senate’s current medical marijuana proposal.
Brandes’ proposal would eliminate a hard number of licenses for medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) and would instead base the number of licensees on market demand.
The Legislature’s current proposal, sponsored Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, would require the state to approve 10 new licenses by October, with at least one of those licenses being granted to a member of the Florida Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association.
SB 8A would also eliminate the requirement that the same companies must grow, process, transport and dispense medical marijuana.
The measure would also limit the number of retail facilities to no more than one per 25,000 residents.
The bill would also allow doctors more freedom in determining how patients should consume the drug rather than state lawmakers. The current proposal would allow edibles, THC oil and capsules but would ban smoking.
Brandes is filing the “free market” measure as an amendment to the Senate’s current medical marijuana proposal.
“This proposal is the purest implementation proposal that the legislature has seen to date for Amendment 2,” Brandes said. “For the first time the Florida Senate will have an opportunity to vote consistent with our Republican principles of free markets and fair competition. This legislation puts Florida patients first, and protects the physician-patient relationship.”
The St. Petersburg Republican filed the same legislation during the regular legislative session, but the bill did not gain much traction and lawmakers instead chose Bradley’s proposal to regulate the industry, which is set to explode.
On Wednesday, Bradley introduced the main bill to regulate medical marijuana, with a House committee voting in favor of it by Wednesday evening.
The full House is scheduled to take up the measure for a vote on Thursday.