Today, Senate Bill 8-A was passed by the Florida legislature during a special session, officially establishing its regulatory guidelines for the state’s constitutional amendment to expand access to medical marijuana.
The bill passed the Senate by a 29-6 vote and in the House by 103-9; Gov. Rick Scott has stated he will “absolutely” sign the bill into law.
Dramatically expanding the limited medical marijuana law passed in 2014, once signed into law by the governor, the state’s patients, caregivers, doctors, and growers will enjoy greater access to medicinal cannabis but will still be prohibited from smoking their medicine.
Cognizant that medicine should remain tax-free, policymakers included a contentious sales tax exemption for medical marijuana, according to politico.
“House leaders argued that taxing the drug was inappropriate because it’s supposed to be considered medicine, and it’s a position Bradley said he’s personally more comfortable with in the bill. That exemption could mean losing out on $24 million in revenue with 350,000 patients on the registry and sales of $410 million, according to conservative estimates by state economists. Investor forecasts have been much higher, estimating $1 billion to $2 billion in sales, which would push revenue numbers somewhere between $60 million and $120 million.”
- While smoking is prohibited, vaping and edibles are completely legal
- Patients will be able to obtain a 70-day supply
- Patients may obtain a medical marijuana recommendation from a qualified doctor immediately
- Medical marijuana will be free of all sales tax
Qualifying Medical Conditions:
- PTSD, ALS
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Irrespective of Governor Scott’s signature, the Florida Department of Health has no choice but to adopt rules by July 3 that establish this constitutional amendment.