Florida’s New Medical Marijuana Law Making Impact Already

By Justin Landers
Florida's new medical marijuana law, legalizing flower and smokable cannabis for patients, is making an impact already.

Florida just got a little more freedom.

Medical marijuana has been legalized in Florida since 2016, however there has been the stipulation that it must be in concentrate form.

As of March 18, 2019 medical marijuana patients in Florida can now legally smoke cannabis thanks to lawmakers and Gov. DeSantis.

This is a welcome turn of events for many consumers, as previous governor Rick Scott was a known advocate against cannabis.

Smoking cannabis has many benefits for certain conditions, such as headaches or eating disorders, that need a more instant response than what edibles provide. We recently went into great detail about the different effects each method of cannabis consumption has, and smoking has often proved itself to provide the quickest onset relief.

This change in Florida’s law will come as a great relief to patients who are relying on the entire flower, which also features properties such as CBG (cannabigerol) and CBN (cannabinol), as well as the more popular CBD. These chemical compounds all work together with THC for many health benefits — anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and better digestion to name a few.

The new law that was signed into effect allows medical patients to purchase 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower for smoking in a 35-day window. Patients under 18 must get a doctor’s permission to smoke, and must have a terminal illness. Patients with a need for a higher limit can have their medical provider request the specific amount or limit.

As for where to purchase, flower is available at many local dispensaries in Florida. After speaking with a representative at Trulieve, Florida’s largest chain of dispensaries, we learned that flower is currently $35-$55 per eighth (3.5 grams) of flower. This is comparable to where places with full recreation such as Colorado and Washington started their pricing.

It will be interesting to see how the market in Florida grows in the wake of this new legislation. However, it’s undeniable that the state expects to see a significant impact, having created a director of cannabis position within the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"That individual will oversee all of the different parts of the medical marijuana program that the Department oversees currently,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

“Every patient is different, every human body is different, and every person responds differently to medical treatment," explained Fried. "For many patients, the best method is smoking the natural flower, just as their doctor ordered.”

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