The Florida Department of Health and a Republican state senator are offering drastically different visions for the future of medical cannabis in the state. It could set the stage for a contentious rollout of last year’s Amendment Two.
Florida’s Office of Compassionate Use has six months to implement last year’s medical marijuana amendment. But the office seems ready to allow physicians to begin ordering the drug for newly eligible patients.
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.
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.
New medical marijuana provisions are in effect as of today. The change expands the range of eligible conditions and patients in Florida. But as the Department of Health develops new regulations, it could find itself between a rock and a hard place.
The Florida Senate is tackling Amendment Two—the medical marijuana constitutional provision that gained approval in November. As they get to work, lawmakers will need to decide whether to keep existing law in place or start over.