Florida Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

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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.”

Key Points:

  • 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:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • 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.

About Author

Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

4 Comments

  1. Morgan did not alter his bill to include homegrow the 2nd time around (scared money?). A blunder in hind sight. The Legislative powers capitalized on that and have banned smoking. As far as helping the movement, Morgan should have saved his money.
    By crafting a limited MMJ program, Fl’s. guiding fathers are guaranteeing a recreational referendum in 20. It will not take another const. amend to kick in prohibition’s rotten door there. My guess is they can muster better than 52% for rec.
    How is the vaping. but no smoke going to work? Can’t you smoke anything that can be vaped

    • Some Random White Guy on

      Yes you can smoke what can be vaped. Which in my opinion is the same since you inhale both, don’t exhale! 😉 They have whole flower in a vape container you can get. It becomes illegal when tampered with though. That’s the loop hole.

  2. Disgusted in FL on

    Florida’s legislators are corrupt morons. The banning is smoking is so they can prevent cannabis flower from being sold. The Florida House started with a bill written by Drug Free America Foundation, that banned smoking, vaping, and edibles. It was a joke. No one in Tallahassee knows anything about cannabis. They simply do the bidding of their donors, nothing more. Democracy bought & paid for.

    If you live in Florida, vote ALL of these idiots out of office.

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