Tag: Florida

State of the Leaf: Peruvian President Wants to Legalize MMJ

U.S. News Updates

National

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) has introduced a resolution that would acknowledge the devastating effects the war on drugs has had on the black community and determine which private corporations benefited from the nation’s mass incarceration crisis. House Resolution 1055 is aimed at remedying some of the those historical harms. Black Americans are four times as likely to be arrested for cannabis-related crimes, despite offense rates equal to those among whites. If passed, the law would create a the Commission to Study Family Reconstruction Proposals for African-Americans Unjustly Impacted by the War on Drugs, members of which would be appointed by the president and appropriated $10 million to conduct the study over the course of a year. Rush introduced a similar proposal during the last legislative session, but the measure fell short.

Arkansas

Two bills passed the House with little opposition, while a third measure was soundly rejected by the Senate. House Bill 1392, which would ban edibles, and House Bill 1400, which would prohibit the smoking of marijuana, both passed through committee. The Senate rejected SB 254, which would have amended the number of plants a dispensary is allowed to grow.

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Arkansas House OKs Delay to Medical Marijuana Program

California

San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy asked the city attorney to draft legislation that would create an independent department of marijuana to regulate the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis in the city. The city is anticipating challenges in overseeing sales and distribution when legalization comes into effect in January 2018. The tentatively named Department of Cannabis would issue permits to grow, distribute, and sell marijuana in the city, and would play a role in enforcing compliance with state law.

Colorado

The Colorado Senate approved a bill that directs the Colorado Department of Agriculture to study the feasibility of using hemp as livestock feed. Senate Bill 17-109 would create a group to study the possibility of using hemp products in animal feed, with a report due by December 31, 2017. This measure is similar to a bill passed in Washington in 2015 to study whether hemp products should be allowed in commercial animal feed.

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Florida

A Broward County ordinance dealing with zoning, security, and other measures in light of the passage of Amendment 2 will get a public hearing on March 14. However, the proposed ordinance may become moot due to legislation being considered in the state Senate that would keep the number of cannabis cultivators limited to the seven producers already licensed to grow low-THC cannabis. Activists and potential patients have resisted these changes, with nearly 1,300 residents showing up to voice their opinions are public hearings held recently across the state.

Indiana

The Indiana Senate voted to approve a measure that would legalize the use of CBD oil for the treatment of children with epilepsy. Senate Bill 15 creates a state registry for physicians, nurses, caregivers, and patients to treat intractable epilepsy and would allow pharmacies to dispense it. The measure cleared the state Senate and has been sent to the House for consideration. Gov. Eric Holcomb has been reluctant to consider outright legalization, but has said he is open to the idea of medical cannabis.

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Cannabis Legislation 2017: We’re Tracking All Legalization Bills

New Mexico

A bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program was cleared by the state Senate in a 29–11 vote. Introduced by Sen. Cisco McSorley, who also helped pass the state’s initial medical marijuana bill in 2007, Senate Bill 177 would allow producers to increase the number of plants they can grow when the number of patients in the program increases. It would also add 14 new qualifying medical marijuana conditions to the program, including substance abuse disorder.

New York

The New York State Assembly voted in support of A. 2142, a bill that would seal the criminal records of those who have been arrested and convicted for simple possession of cannabis in public. This is in line with the changes made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last year to no longer arrest those who possess cannabis in public. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also hinted that he may clarify the state’s marijuana decriminalization law to help lower arrest rates, which initially decreased with de Blasio’s policy change, but lately have been on the rise.

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NYC Cannabis Arrests Ticked Up in 2016

International News Updates

Guam

A poll conducted by the advanced placement students at Simon Sanchez High School found that 60 percent of Guam’s adults oppose legalizing marijuana for adult use. The student polled 1,048 adults over the age of 21, of whom 632 had serious objections to legalizing cannabis. The Guam Gov. Eddie Balza Calvo recently introduced Bill 8-34 to legalize and tax cannabis, with revenue going towards supporting the medical marijuana program and other important government services, such as public hospitals.

Peru

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is planning to introduce legislation to legalize the medical use of cannabis for the treatment of serious and terminal illnesses. The president was inspired to introduce the legislation after police raided the home of a family in Lima where parents were cultivating cannabis in order to treat children suffering from epilepsy and other illnesses. The cultivation site comprised more than 80 members whose sick children have been quietly benefiting from the illicit use of cannabis.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Florida Officials Clash With Voters Over Medical Cannabis Rules

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Three months after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment on medical marijuana, state health officials and prospective patients are at odds over proposed rules that would spell out who could get cannabis.

State officials have recommended restrictions on what type of patients can qualify for medical marijuana, and where they can obtain it. Their suggestions, however, have prompted a wave of opposition across the state, with nearly 1,300 residents attending what are normally low-key bureaucratic hearings to press for less restricted access to marijuana.

“Patients, doctors, caregivers and activists all had a unified message which is rare,” said Ben Pollara, who is the campaign manager for United for Care. “They want impediments removed and a free market place.”

Amendment 2, which was approved by 71 percent of voters last November, was enacted on Jan. 3. It allows higher-strength marijuana to be used for a wider list of medical ailments than what was currently allowed in state law. The rules have become a flashpoint because the amendment requires the state to adopt them by July 3 and have them in place by September.

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Florida Already Undermining Amendment 2, Patient Advocates Say

The state held hearings in several locations and Thursday’s two hours of public testimony in Tallahassee mirrored what happened earlier this week in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando. Most who spoke statewide are also concerned about high prices and limited availability so far of cannabis products. Only five of the seven organizations approved to dispense cannabis are up and running.

Activists want a requirement eliminated that a patient must be under a prescribing physician’s care for at least 90 days. They also believe it should be up to doctors to deem when medical cannabis is necessary and not be confined by the conditions enumerated in the amendment or by the Board of Medicine.

Doug Bench, a former judge who testified in Tallahassee, said that people often delay seeing a doctor until they urgently need treatment.

“When you are ill you, you put it off. You don’t want to hear what the doctor says and by the time you finally go you need it now,” Bench said.

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The current law — which was approved by the state legislature in 2014 — allows for non-smoked, low-THC cannabis for patients with cancer or ailments that cause chronic seizures or severe spasms. It was expanded last March to allow patients with terminal conditions to gain access to higher strength cannabis.

The department will review all comments it has received and agency officials will then publish another proposed rule. How quickly that rule gets published depends on subsequent public comments or any legal challenges.

The Florida Legislature will also get a chance to weigh in. There are two bills in the Senate with the House of Representatives expected to release its version before session opens on March 7.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Where Are the Medical Marijuana Doctors in Florida? We Mapped Them.

Medical marijuana in Florida is in a state of flux. The state’s voters overwhelmingly approved–by more than 70 percent–Amendment 2, the medical marijuana measure, in November 2016. But it will be many months before the full system of patient registration, growing licenses, and dispensaries is in place.

Here’s what’s legal as of early 2017.

The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 is still the law of the land. That measure allowed a severely limited number of patients to obtain and use high-CBD, low-THC cannabis. In 2015, Florida added a few conditions (very few–you basically have to be dying in the next 12 months) under which patients can receive higher-THC cannabis. Originally the Department of Health set up a system in which five growers would be licensed to grow, process, and sell to registered Florida patients. But the Department screwed up its judging of the grow-and-dispense license applications, and to fix the error the agency decided to issue two more licenses. So there are now seven licensed medical cannabis companies in Florida.

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What’s the Deal with Florida’s ‘Dispensaries’?

Amendment 2 became effective on Jan. 3, 2017, but it currently offers vague and limited protections under the law. Right now, there’s no way to legally purchase higher-THC medical cannabis in Florida. Patients aren’t legally “qualified” until they receive a written recommendation from a physician, and possesses a valid patient ID card issued by the state. The state hasn’t started issuing those cards yet, so even if you have a physician’s recommendation, you are still operating in a legal gray area.

What is available right now? MMJ-qualified physicians and seven low-THC dispensary companies.

The Florida Department of Health requires physicians who recommend medical marijuana to complete an eight-hour training course before writing those recommendations. The DoH keeps a weekly-updated list of those physicians here, and we’ve turned that data into a handy map, below. The qualified physicians are the orange, smaller dots, the low-THC dispensaries are noted in teal, at a bigger size.

Click on the links below for more information about the 7 dispensaries listed:
Surterra Wellness
Trulieve – Clearwater
Modern Health Concepts
Knox Medical
CHT Medical
Trulieve – Tallahassee
Trulieve – Tampa 


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Florida Already Undermining Amendment 2, Patient Advocates Say

More than 70 percent of Florida voters passed Amendment 2, the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment, last November. But now lawmakers and Florida Department of Health officials are trying to warp the law even before they implement it.

The language in Amendment 2 was clear. It empowered the Department of Health to register and regulate dispensaries, and left it up to the state’s physicians to determine when a patient’s condition qualified for medical cannabis.

Rather than creating the infrastructure for a new medical marijuana program, though, the Department of Health wants to fold an expanded MMJ program into the structure currently in place for the state’s limited, low-THC, high-CBD program created in 2014. The department is also seeking to give the Florida Board of Medicine—not individual doctors—the authority to approve or deny qualifying medical conditions.

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The changes are expected to be the subject of heavy debate at five public hearings on the new law, set to be hosted next week by the Department of Health (details below).

Ben Pollara, the Amendment 2 campaign director who also helped write the amendment, said the changes violate both the spirit and letter of the law. “It is clearly defined and requires no further definition,” he said earlier this week. “It is patently up to the physicians, and that’s what we intended when we wrote it.”

There are only seven cultivators currently licensed to produce low-CBD, high-THC cannabis in the state. Under the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, passed in 2014, very few patients could qualify for the program and cultivators were required to pay $5 million to be considered as growers.

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The Health Department’s move is receiving some pushback in Tallahassee from state legislators, some of whom want to see Amendment 2 implemented as written.

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), a backer of Amendment 2, recently introduced Senate Bill 614, which would force state regulators to implement Amendment 2 as written. In an official statement, Brandes emphasized the need to recognize the will of the voters. “The overwhelming support of Amendment 2 was a strong mandate,” he said. “Floridians demand fundamental change to the way we regulate medical marijuana.”

“The state today artificially limits the number of marijuana providers, promoting regional monopolies and standing in the way of the physician-patient relationship,” Brandes added. “This legislation removes those barriers and will provide expanded access to Floridians who could benefit from the use of these products.”

SB 614 also eliminates the existing cap on medical marijuana treatment centers and establishes four new licenses for the program: cultivation, processing, transportation, and retail. The system does not require vertical integration, and applicants are allowed to possess multiple license types.

Ben Pollara applauded the bill.

“Sen. Brandes’s bill does an excellent job of establishing a comprehensive, tightly regulated medical marijuana system in Florida,” he said. “The two most essential pieces of implementation are maintaining the primacy of the doctor–patient relationship, and expanding the marketplace to serve patient access.”

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The Florida Department of Health will host five hearings around the state next week to hear concerns from the public on the medical marijuana issue. If you want to make your voice heard, please fill out a public comment form or attend one of the following hearings:

  • Monday, February 6, 2017 – 2-4 p.m. in Jacksonville
  • Duval County Health Department
  • 900 University Blvd. N.
  • Jacksonville, FL 32211
  • Tuesday, February 7, 2017 – 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale
  • Broward County Health Department
  • 780 SW 24th St.
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
  • Wednesday, February 8, 2017 – 9-11 a.m. in Tampa
  • Florida Department of Health, Tampa Branch Laboratory
  • 3602 Spectrum Blvd.
  • Tampa, FL 33612
  • Wednesday, February 8, 2017 – 6-8 p.m. in Orlando
  • Orange County Health Department
  • 6102 Lake Ellenor Drive
  • Orlando, FL 32809
  • Thursday, February 9, 2017 – 4-6 p.m. in Tallahassee
  • Betty Easley Conference Center
  • 4075 Esplanade Way, Room 148
  • Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Florida Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment

Florida Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment | NORML

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Proposed rules by the Florida Department of Health to regulate the dispensing of medical cannabis are contrary to the intent of Amendment 2, the ballot initiative approved by 71 percent of voters on Election Day. Specifically, the draft rules would not permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with chronic pain – […]

Florida Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

What’s Behind All the Delays in Newly Legal States?

Five of the eight states that voted to legalize cannabis for medical or adult use in the 2016 election are now facing months of new delays. Most of the slowdowns have been initiated by legislators and state officials, who claim it will take them more time to set up a regulatory system. But a number of legalization advocates have pushed back, claiming in a few cases that the delays are a thinly veiled attempt to sabotage, or at least slow-walk, the programs.

Jim Borghesani, Communications Director for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, expressed his dismay at the quick decision to delay Massachusetts’ legalization law without input from the public. “We are very disappointed that the Legislature has decided to alter Question 4 in an informal session with very little notice regarding proposed changes.”

Ben Pollara, who led Florida’s campaign United for Care in both the 2014 and 2016 elections, railed against the rules proposed by Florida’s Department of Health, which would not allow more distributing organizations. “If DOH’s rule is implemented as written, it will be in clear violation of Florida law,” Pollara explained. “Why DOH would choose to engage in a policymaking exercise which ignores both the law and the role of the legislature in implementing the law is a mystery.”

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At issue, in part, is a question with no definitive answer: How long should it reasonably take for a state to get its regulatory system up and running?

Colorado and Washington state both passed legalization laws in November 2012. Colorado was the first to open the door to retail cannabis sales on January 1, 2014, about 14 months after passing Amendment 64. But Colorado already had a well-regulated medical cannabis system in place. Washington state, which did not, took 20 months between ballot passage and retail opening.

Those first adult-use legalization measures didn’t explicitly outline a time frame during which legalization would be implemented. Those states also had relatively friendly governors, who were willing to engage in a good-faith effort to implement the will of the voters. Other states, like Massachusetts and Arkansas, expected some sort of pushback from governors strongly against legalization. So many state included specific timelines in their ballot measures last fall.

The general election of 2016 was largely a victory for cannabis advocates, with eight states passing medical or retail cannabis laws, but, if officials don’t stick to the timeline, these states may fall the way of Alaska – a state that passed a legalization law in 2014 but took two years to open the doors of the first legal cannabis shop, and face delays due to lack of product (and ultimately, lack of preparation).

Here’s how the delays are shaking out in each of the eight new states.

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Arkansas

The Arkansas House voted to delay the launch of the state’s newly approved medical marijuana program from March 2017 until May, in order to finalize the rules. The House also voted to push the state’s deadline to begin accepting dispensary applications from June 1, 2017, to July 1. David Couch, who wrote Issue 6, the measure for medical marijuana, agreed that the delay was acceptable, and didn’t see the delay as an effort to sabotage the program.

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California

California seems to be on track, no delays so far.

Florida

Amendment 2 took effect this month, but the program is already in hot water. Under proposed rules issued by the Department of Health, the currently established (and stringently maintained) monopoly on cannabis cultivation would be restricted to those already operating in the CBD-only market. On top of this, the proposed rules would only allow the Florida Board of Medicine to determine which patients qualify for medical marijuana, rather than leaving it up to the patient’s individual physician. Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United For Care, criticized the rules, stating that they are “in clear violation of Florida law.” The Florida Department of Health will be holding public hearings on the new rules in five cities between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9.

Maine

It’s been tough sledding in Maine ever since election day. A recount found that Question 1 was approved by a hair, but state lawmakers are already fighting to delay the implementation of a legal market. Senate President Mike Thibodeu (R-Winterport) and Rep. Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) introduced Legislative Document 88, which would add an additional three months to the already-established nine-month timeline for implementation. The one upside so far is that Governor Paul LePage, who has been vehemently opposed to cannabis legalization, did sign off on the bill, confirming that legalization is coming to Maine – it’s just a matter of when.

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Massachusetts

Massachusetts advocates are in an uproar after a clandestine bill was passed through the House and Senate to delay the opening of retail cannabis stores by six months. Many state officials, including the governor, were actively opposed to Question 4. Many lawmakers pushed back against legalization even after the measure passed. The bill to delay implementation was approved by a nearly empty legislative session, and it took the only two senators on hand less than a minute to pass the substitute amendment. The timeline for Massachusetts was already well-padded, and with the newly passed delay, retail marijuana shops will not be able to legally open until July 2018 at the earliest, pushed back from January 2018.

Montana

Montana officially passed Initiative 182 to repeal restrictions on the state’s medical marijuana, but it’s taking longer than expected before the changes will be implemented. Due to a clerical error in the initiative text, the measure will not be going into effect until June 30, 2017, and legislators are taking advantage of the extra time to make revisions to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act. Some of the changes that regulators are looking at are product testing procedures, inspections, and revised licensing. In the meantime, medical marijuana patients and providers are anxious to see the program come back into action as soon as possible. Dispensary doors have been closed and thousands of patients have been without access to medicine since last August when the law upheld by Montana’s Supreme Court became effective.

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North Dakota

A new bill from North Dakota lawmakers would suspend the implementation of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act. Senate Bill 2154 would halt the issuing of applications for medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as the eventual issues of licenses. The suspension would last through July 31, 2017, or until the state Legislature passes a more thorough medical marijuana regulations bill this session, whichever happens first. Sen. Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) is the primary sponsor of the bill and insists that the delay is necessary to ensure a solid foundation for the program, but many would-be patients are frustrated and petitioning the Human Services Committee to implement the program sooner rather than later.

Nevada

No delays so far in Nevada.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Public Forums Announced to Debate Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules

Public Forums Announced to Debate Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules | NORML

Floridians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Amendment 2 on Election Day, passing the measure intended to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis to any patient who is diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by their doctor. However, newly proposed rule by the Department of Health seek to significantly amend this legislation in a manner that is contrary to patients’ […]

Public Forums Announced to Debate Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules Spell Disaster for Patients

Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules Spell Disaster for Patients | Kate Bell

Tuesday morning, the Florida Health Department released draft rules that are supposed to implement the medical marijuana law approved by 71% of Florida voters. It doesn’t appear regulators actually read Amendment 2, however. Instead, they tried to simply slightly expand the existing, and ineffective, low-THC program. These rules would be a disaster for patients: They […]

Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules Spell Disaster for Patients | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Patient Advocates Say Florida Proposal Would Be Illegal

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida health officials have begun the rules-making process that will expand those eligible to receive medical marijuana under Amendment 2, which took effect two weeks ago.

The Department of Health published proposed rules Tuesday and announced that public hearings will be held in five cities between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9.

Amendment 2 was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters on Election Day. It took effect on Jan. 3 and will allow higher-strength cannabis to be used for a wider list of medical ailments once a new set of rules are adopted and implemented.

The state legislature and Department of Health have until July to revise current rules and until September to implement them.

The proposal has already drawn sharp criticism from the group behind the amendment’s passage.

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Ben Pollara, who is the campaign manager for United for Care, said in a statement that the proposed rule stands in contradiction to the amendment.

“If DOH’s rule is implemented as written, it will be in clear violation of Florida law,” he said. “Why DOH would choose to engage in a policymaking exercise which ignores both the law and the role of the legislature in implementing the law is a mystery.”

Pollara encouraged the department and Florida Legislature to take a more broad-minded approach to the revisions instead of merely configuring current statutes into the confines of the amendment.

The current law — approved by the state legislature in 2014 — allows for non-smoked, low-THC cannabis for patients with cancer or ailments that cause chronic seizures or severe spasms. It was expanded last March to allow patients with terminal conditions to gain access to higher strength cannabis.

The proposed rule allows only patients with one of 10 diagnoses to have access to medical cannabis. The amendment’s ballot language, though, allows doctors to order medical cannabis if they “believe the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks.”

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It also does not allow for more distributing organizations. There are currently seven licensed, with one more case under an administrative challenge.

Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Gambinieri said Tuesday that “we look forward to receiving input from all interested stakeholders through the open and transparent rulemaking process.”

The Florida Legislature will also have a big say in the new rules. The state House and Senate have already held policy workshops with more scheduled before their 60-day session begins on March 7.

Tallahassee attorney Colin Roopnarine sees Tuesday’s proposal as the first step in the process.

“You have to start somewhere and they can’t start with everything in place. Everyone wants to have their say and see if they can have their impact,” said Roopnarine, who has worked as an attorney for various state agencies. “This is way to get things started and then ramping up and modifying efforts based on what may be coming legislation.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Florida: Here’s What to Know as Amendment 2 Takes Effect Today

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Dr. Joseph Dorn has had a unique vantage point when it comes to the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in Florida.

Dorn was the medical director of Surterra Therapeutics, which is one of the six dispensing organizations licensed to grow and distribute medical cannabis in the state. He resigned from that position two months ago and has opened a medical cannabis treatment center as Amendment 2 takes effect on Tuesday.

The constitutional amendment, which was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters, allows higher-strength cannabis to be used for a wider list of medical ailments. However, the true measure of what the amendment means won’t be immediately seen until a new set of rules are adopted and implemented by the Florida Legislature and the Department of Health.

“I think the expectations for most people is it is going to be a free-for-all, and all people have to do is get their cards to receive it,” Dorn said. “I think there is going to be a lot of chaos initially because there is still a lot of work to be done.”

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The upcoming year will be important, considering the health and economic factors at play.

A study recently released by Arcview Market Research and New Frontier Data showed that Florida is on track to log more than $1 billion in medical marijuana sales by 2019 and surpass Colorado within four years.

What the amendment does

It allows the use of medical marijuana for people with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed physician. In 2014, the Florida Legislature approved the use of low-THC and non-smoked cannabis for patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic seizures and chronic muscle spasms. It was expanded last year to include patients with terminal conditions under the Right to Try Act and allowed them to use higher-THC strains.

Patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other similar conditions will now be covered.

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How patients can obtain cannabis

Patients must be under the care of a licensed physician who has completed the required eight-hour course and examination for at least three months. Dorn, who is one of three approved physicians in Tallahassee, said he is nearly booked with appointments for the upcoming week.

According to the Department of Health, 340 physicians are registered. Christian Bax, who runs the Office of Compassionate Use, which is tasked with regulating medical cannabis, said last month he expects for there to be a significant increase in registered physicians during the first quarter of the year.

There are currently 1,495 patients in the state registry but that number will steadily increase.

Distributing organizations

Five of the seven licensed organizations have received authorization to distribute medical marijuana. CHT Medical, which was approved two weeks ago, will begin in-home delivery this month. At least one more additional license will likely be granted after a recent settlement between the Department of Health and two Southwest Florida nurseries.

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Once the patient registry reaches 250,000, an additional three licenses will be made available, one of which will be designated for black farmers.

Dispensaries are open in Tallahassee, Clearwater and Tampa but according to the Florida League of Cities, 55 cities statewide have zoning moratoriums in place either banning or restricting dispensaries. Eight additional cities are considering moratoriums.

Most moratoriums are temporary as cities and counties await new regulations from Amendment 2’s passage.

Next steps

Five more legislative committee weeks are scheduled before the start of the Florida Legislature on March 7. The Florida Senate’s Health Policy committee held a workshop in early December to hear concerns from all parties. The House’s Health Policy committee has not met yet.

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The amendment allows the Department of Health and Legislature to come up with the regulatory framework.

Those who opposed the amendment are urging lawmakers to uphold the tenants of the amendment, especially when it comes to putting laws in place to ban cannabis-infused candy.

Whatever path the Legislature and Department of Health decide to go down, only one thing is certain — the clock is ticking to get it done.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.