With time running out in the session, Florida’s Senate passed SB 406 (regulations to implement Amendment 2) late last night. Now, the Florida Senate and House need to work out their differences, see my recent post on the House Bill.
Florida’s Senate and House have reached agreement on the following:
- No smoking, but yes to vaping and edibles.
- A House requirement that doctors must wait 90 days after meeting with a patient to issue a prescription has now been eliminated.
The ban on smoking remains controversial. My own state senator, Jeff Clemens, remains critical and had this to say.
There are people out there who this is still not going to help, there are people who only get the relief that they need through smoking.
The differences that need to be worked out between the House and Senate include the big issue of the number of licenses allowed for growers/distributors. As I noted in my earlier post, the House’s Bill included unlimited retail locations for license holders, but limited the number of licenses. To force the House on the issue of limited licenses, and to limit any one company from becoming too dominant, the Senate put a cap on the number of retail dispensaries each license holder can operate.
Florida for Care, the group that led the campaign to pass the marijuana amendment, supports the Senate’s position on the number of licenses noting the Senate Bill:
would allow for the marijuana industry to grow alongside the patient population, providing competition and reasonable access.
The House and Senate also disagree on the tax treatment for medical marijuana, the House proposes it be tax free.
With just a couple days left in the session, we’ll see if the differences can be ironed out between the two bills. Either way, litigation is likely. If the Florida legislature fails to pass a bill implementing Amendment 2, any Floridian can sue. Litigation is also likely if the Florida legislature passes a bill that bans smoking of medical marijuana or overly limits the number of licenses.
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.