Thereafter, several other bills have been put forward and one in the House, HB 1397, has now passed the House Health Quality Subcommittee. HB 1397, written by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, is quite restrictive. Specifically it provides the following:
- A requirement that non-terminal patients must have a doctor at least 90 days before they can get a cannabis recommendation.
- Bans the smoking of medical marijuana.
- Also bans edibles like brownies and “vaping.”
- Slow expansion of the number of licensed growers and dispensaries. HB 1397 grants licenses to the seven existing growers. Plus five applicants denied last year by the Department of Health would obtain licenses after 150,000 patients have registered. New licenses would be allowed once there are 200,000 patients.
Heading back to the Florida Senate, Rob Bradley, has proposed SB 406 which has also made it past a key committee (the Senate Health Policy Commitee). SB 406 is a more “in the middle” bill and proposes the following:
- The proposal does not include any language that would restrict doctors’ ability to decide for themselves if patients qualify for marijuana treatment.
- Nonresidents would be allowed to apply to receive medical marijuana in Florida as long as they are able to get medical marijuana in their home state and qualify in Florida.
- The Department of Health would be required to have computer software system to track marijuana from “seed to sale”.
- Patients would also be allowed to increase their supply from 45 to 90 days or even more than 90 days with a doctor’s approval.
- The Bill would increase the number of marijuana dispensaries, expanding the number of businesses by five more when the state has 250,000 patients, 350,000 patients, 400,000 patients and then every 100,000 thereafter.
- At least one of the five dispensaries would have to be a black-owned company.
- The Bill also proposes a new medical marijuana research group at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.
Dori K. Stibolt is a West Palm Beach, Florida based partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP. She focuses her practice on litigation and labor and employment issues. You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.