George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Medical Marijuana was back in the hot seat in Florida on March 7, 2016. The Florida House of Representatives continued efforts to expand the scope of medical marijuana with a vote on a bill that would extend access to all terminally ill patients. Whether the governor will approve it or smoke it is still up in the air.
Florida Senate Approves Expansion.
The Florida state Senate voted 28-11 to approve a bill (HB 307) that expands the Right to Try Act to include medical marijuana. Among other things, the bill allows eligible patients—defined as someone with one year left to live—to legally purchase medical marijuana from dispensing organizations. Additionally under this proposal, licensed organizations can grow and distribute medical marijuana, not just the low-THC products authorized under the 2014 Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, to terminally ill patients. This greatly expands the allowable use of medical marijuana so that many terminal patients will be authorized to use it, not just patients with a few rare diseases.
The bill also authorizes that the Department of Health (DOH) can issue three additional dispensary licenses, once 250,000 people have signed up for the compassionate use registry. This bill is aimed to ease frustrations over delays in the legalization, add framework for criminal penalties, and new regulations for testing, packaging, labeling and transportation etc.
To read more on the bill, click here.
I still believe that this small number of approved nurseries and dispensaries undercuts the stated purpose of the legislation and is anti-competitive. Whatever rationale is being used to artificially limit these may later be determined to be capricious and arbitrary, especially after the amendment to the Florida Constitution is approved in the next election.
The Bill Now Goes to the Governor.
Now that the Florida Senate has approved the bill, it will go on to Florida’s governor Rick Scott to approve or veto. To keep up to date with medical marijuana issues in Florida, click here to view our blog.
Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.
The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.
To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Hale, Nathan. “Medical pot bill rolls on, but leaves Fla. Senate frustrated.” Law360. (March 4, 2016).
“Medical marijuana expansion heads to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.” Bradenton Herald. (March 7, 2016). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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