medical marijuana

One of the most contentious elements in Florida’s medical cannabis industry is who gets to grow and sell the drug.  Lawmakers approved a limited number of companies to ensure security, but now some see the state’s seven growers as a cartel.

New Medical Marijuana Rules Criticized

Jan 18, 2017

Authors of Florida's voter-approved constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana are blasting proposed rules to regulate the cannabis industry.

So far, more than half of all U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and eight (plus the District of Columbia) have legalized the drug for recreational use. Varieties of cannabis available today are more potent than ever and come in many forms, including oils and leaves that can be vaped, and lots of edibles, from brownies and cookies to candies — even cannabis gummy bears.

Patients who qualify for medical marijuana under a voter-approved constitutional amendment can start purchasing cannabis treatments in as little as 90 days, according to the state's top pot cop.

Whether patients would be able to start buying medical marijuana before the Department of Health approves rules to carry out the amendment — a process that could take at least six months --- has been a source of confusion for many doctors, patients and businesses.

A proposed medical marijuana ordinance in Tallahassee appears to be undergoing some changes. During a public hearing on the ordinance Wednesday Commissioner Nancy Miller suggested shortening the timeframe for a proposed moratorium on new dispensaries in the city.

“I’d really like for the public to see what other changes we are about to make and I would move that we move this time frame up to four months,” Miller said.

While state officials debate the best regulatory framework for medical marijuana in Florida, a more practical challenge may be on the horizon.  The current list of doctors may not be enough to meet the demand of an expanding pool of patients.

LEON NEAL / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Nursery Loses Bid For Medical Marijuana License

Jan 8, 2017

The state Department of Health on Thursday issued a final order rejecting a Northeast Florida nursery's attempt to get a license to grow, process and dispense non-euphoric medical marijuana.

A Central Florida marijuana dispensary made its first delivery to a Jacksonville patient Tuesday — the same day a constitutional amendment goes into effect that will make more types of medical cannabis available to Floridians.

Knox Medical is one of a handful of Florida dispensaries that have been allowed to open under a 2014 law.

Expanded access to medical cannabis in Florida goes into effect on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The result of voters passing Amendment 2 in November, the new laws will significantly expand what medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana, but the rules to fully implement Amendment 2 are still months away.

The disconnect between the Jan. 3 deadline and the rules governing Florida's medical cannabis industry means patients, doctors, and lawmakers are charting new and uncertain waters.

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Jamie Howe has been disabled for years after complications from a gastric bypass surgery, and was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, which she said causes debilitating pain.

After opiates put her in the hospital and then into rehab, she looked to marijuana to alleviate the pain.

CHT Medical is the fifth distributing organization in Florida to receive authorization to process and dispense medical marijuana.

Rule Would Ban Use Of Telemedicine For Marijuana

Dec 11, 2016

The Florida Board of Medicine this week proposed a rule to make clear that doctors cannot use “telemedicine” to order medical marijuana for patients.

Knox Medical begins delivering medical marijuana Friday in Florida.

Knox is licensed by the Florida Department of Health to grow, process and distribute medical marijuana in Central Florida. The patient receiving the marijuana lives in Osceola County.

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