After the Florida Legislature overwhelmingly passed new Medical Marijuana legislation, Governor Rick Scott has indicated he will sign it before the July 3 deadline.
The legislature recognized 10 qualifying conditions of chronic pain and passed legislation to allow patients to receive low-THC cannabis or full-strength medical class marijuana.
As in past versions of the bill, this legislation does not allow smoking of marijuana products. Sen. Jeff Clemens (Dem., Dist. 31) protested that most patients access marijuana by smoking and that language in the amendment passed last fall by voters implies that smoking in private is allowed, but those arguments were rejected and lawsuits are expected.
Regulations imposed on physicians who will prescribe medical marijuana (MM) require a two-hour course administered by either the Florida Medical Association or the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, and that they hold no financial interests in testing labs or growing facilities.
Physicians must assure that patients for whom they prescribe MM are diagnosed with one of 10 qualifying conditions, are listed on the state MM registry and confirm that a prescription has been approved. The diagnosis must be determined in person without the use of telemedicine.
There are further restrictions applying to minors and pregnant women.
Provisions in the legislation apply immediately upon the Governor's signature.