Smoking medical marijuana will be legalized in the state of Florida after a new bill was passed repealing a previous ban.
Current and future medical marijuana patients in Florida were given reason to rejoice this week, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pushed through a major win for flower cannabis and smokable medical marijuana.
“Thank you to the Florida Legislature for honoring the will of the people and taking action on medical marijuana,” DeSantis tweeted on Friday after the House and Senate both approved the new bill.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried also weighed in, saying that this new measure is well overdue.
“Today’s action to finally allow smokable medical marijuana brings four words to the lips of people across our state: ‘It’s about damn time,’” Fried said. “I’m thankful for the House and Senate’s work to fix this situation.”
On the heels of the Senate’s approval, the House voted an overwhelming 101-11 to lift the recent ban on smoking medical marijuana. The vote went through on Wednesday.
DeSantis assumed office this January and immediately made repealing the ban of smokable medical marijuana a high priority (pun not intended). If Legislature didn’t act, he planned on reversing the previous bill by litigating the matter. DeSantis set a deadline of Friday, March 15 for Legislature to handle matters on their own.
Former Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill legalizing medical marijuana for the state of Florida in 2017, however the measure also made smoking medical marijuana for patients illegal in the same stroke. Patients were instead forced to consume through other means, such as edibles and oils.
With the end of the ban, medical patients are now able to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of flower cannabis every 35 days, and dispensaries are permitted to sell any form of smokable marijuana, including pre-rolls. Dispensaries are now also permitted to sell devices for smoking marijuana, such as pipes, in their stores, which was also previously banned.
Florida’s new bill allocates $1.5 million annually for further research on medical marijuana through the newly-established Medical Marijuana Research and Education Board. It also expands potential participants of the research outside of just the University of Florida.
This new measure is a win-win for the state, as it provides access to patients in need and creates a longer term plan for further research around medical marijuana.
For more in-depth information, check out the Miami Herald’s article on the new bill.
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