The Florida Legislature reached an agreement to regulate medical marijuana in Florida resulting in Senator Rob Bradley filing SB-8A. Without this special session bill, the Florida Department of Health would have likely issued unduly restrictive regulations.
The bill calls for 10 new growers to be licensed this year. Five new licenses would go to previous applicants, and the other five would go to new applicants. Additionally, the bill requires four licenses to be issued for every 100,000 patients added to the state’s medical marijuana registry.
Also, the number of dispensaries each grower can open will be capped at 25 – resolving the dispute that prohibited lawmakers from passing a regulation bill during regular session.
While this implementation bill is a huge step in the right direction, there is still work to be done in Florida in the coming months and years. Specifically, the bill does not fully allow patients to decide how to take medical marijuana and advocates in the Sunshine state have expressed a willingness to challenge this issue in court.
The amendment requires laws be in place by July and enacted by October, and because of this special session, it seems that the legislature will meet that target date.
About the Marijuana Policy Project: MPP, which was founded in January 1995, is the largest organization in the U.S. that’s focused solely on ending marijuana prohibition.