low-THC marijuana

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

A bill filed last week would set a limit on the amount of THC that can be dispensed to 10%. The bill also allows military veterans to waive their yearly $75-dollar Medical Marijuana Card fee. Opponents don’t like the first portion and think tying it to the veterans’ fee waiver is bad policy. I spoke with Dr. Mark Moore a certified medical cannabis physician with MEDCAN about his thoughts.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Last month Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that allowed medical marijuana flower to be sold in Florida. Now a sponsor of that bill is trying to cap the potency levels of marijuana sold at treatment centers, and also waive license fees for veterans. Opponents say it’s a double-edged sword. 

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

As Florida lawmakers grapple with changes to the state’s medical marijuana rules, others are questioning how hemp fits into the picture. Hemp is a marijuana plant, but is low in THC—meaning it doesn’t get people high. Instead, people say the CBD from the plant can have significant health benefits. But the two products come plants that look and smell the same—making regulation and enforcement difficult and leaving hemp use and sales in something of a legal grey area.

Listen below as cannabis legal expert Michael Minardi and Alex Petrick who manages Natural Life, a shop in Tallahassee that sells CBD products speak on the subject.

Blaise Gainey

A non-euphoric strain of cannabis is being sold in stores across Florida. It’s available as oils, edibles, and even flower. But as questions about the legality of it linger, CBD remains in limbo.

Young plants at a Surterra Therapeutics facility.
Nick Evans

In two weeks, Florida voters will again cast their ballots for a medical marijuana initiative, and cities and counties across the state are fretting over what it means for their jurisdictions.  Much has changed since the earlier measure failed in 2014, but the ardor of its opponents remains strong.

Brett Levin

Low-THC marijuana treatments could be available as soon as next week.  Health officials have granted Trulieve authorization to process and dispense the drug.

US Fish and Wildlife Service

An administrative court will spend this week and the next deciding whether another nursery should be allowed to grow medical marijuana.  Loop’s nursery would be the seventh in the state.

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Florida’s Department of Health says nurseries could begin processing marijuana next month.  The department has been wrangling with the issue for more than two years.

The Department of Health's Low-THC marijuana are going into effect.
Brett Levin via Flickr

Whether Medicaid expansion will ever come to Florida is far from certain.  But after more than a year in the works, one health fight finally appears settled.

Holley Moseley speaking at the Department of Health's hearing.
The Florida Channel

Mothers and fathers of children with intractable epilepsy made impassioned pleas Monday at the Department of Health’s medical marijuana rulemaking workshop.  Both parents and Department officials hope this meeting will be the last.

Department of Health Negotiated Rulemaking Hearing
Nick Evans

Implementation of Florida’s low-THC marijuana statute has been stalled since the Department of Health’s proposed rules were overturned in court late last year.  Agency officials are hoping a two-day marathon rulemaking session will help jumpstart the process.

Lake Ray (R-Jacksonville)
The Florida Channel

The House committee overseeing Florida’s rules and regulations will likely have to give their blessing before a low-THC marijuana framework can be put in place.  But some lawmakers don’t think it will be a stumbling block.

Florida's Office of Compassionate Use will hold a negotiated rulemaking hearing in February.
Chuck Coker via Flickr

The Department of Health has released a draft proposal and the names of participants in next month’s rulemaking session for low-THC marijuana. 


A number of criminal justice stakeholders are set to converge in Sarasota Monday to kick off a three-day summit to work on innovative ways to reduce recidivism in Florida’s prison system.

It’s the 4th annual Justice Summit presented by the Florida Smart Justice Alliance, and many criminal justice enthusiasts are expected to participate, including Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala). So, why should everyday Floridians care?

Office of Compassionate Use Director Patricia Nelson (left).
Florida Channel

Nurseries hoping to grow and dispense cannabis under Florida’s low-THC marijuana law will have to wait until at least March to make their pitch to the Department of Health.  Patients will have to wait even longer—until those nurseries can deliver a product suitably low in THC.  

Department officials met with stakeholders Tuesday in Orlando.  This was the first meeting since many of the Department’s previous rules were invalidated by an administrative law judge in November. 

Capital Report: 12-19-2014

Dec 19, 2014

The United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba and reaction to the announcement has been mixed. The decision to normalize a relationship with the Communist country could have a big impact on Florida for decades to come.

Brett Levin via Flickr

The Florida Department of Health has decided not to appeal a court ruling invalidating much of the agency’s proposed rules for low-THC marijuana.  This means the rulemaking process gets a reset, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a return to square one.

Brett Levin via Flickr

The Florida Department of Health has chosen not to appeal a court ruling invalidating the agency’s rules for low-THC marijuana.  The deadline was Monday.  Lobbyist Ron Watson says he’s optimistic for progress at the next meeting.

“We basically look like we’re starting over again,” Watson says, “but I think with better guidance especially from what the judge put in his ruling.”

The Legislature passed a law allowing low-THC marijuana in certain circumstances earlier this year, and the next rules workshop will be in Orlando, December 30.  

Scott Beale via Flickr

  Next year, patients across Florida suffering from extreme seizures and a handful of other symptoms should be able to get their hands on low-THC marijuana, but exactly when next year is unclear.  An administrative court scrapped much of the proposed distribution framework last week.  That leaves stakeholders with hope for a better system, and certainty of a longer wait.

Capital Report: 11-21-2014

Nov 21, 2014

Florida State University students are back in class after a shooting at the campus library injured three people. The tragedy has raised the same question asked after any school shooting – how could this happen? But Regan McCarthy reports at Florida State, It’s also raised a stronger feeling of community and support.

Capital Report: 10-17-2014

Oct 17, 2014

The second of three Florida gubernatorial debates happened this week (last week), but most of the attention is being paid to a spat over an electric fan. Lynn Hatter reports some pundits are calling it one of the most bizarre moments in recent Florida political history.

A billboard in Tallahassee is advertising bulletproof vests for children. As Jessica Palombo reports, the group behind the provocative campaign wants to make Florida voters think about policies like the Stand Your Ground law before they cast ballots in the midterm election.

Brett Levin

Opponents of the Department of Health’s proposed rules for distributing low-THC marijuana began a legal challenge this week.  Implementing the new “Compassionate Use of Marijuana” law has been a rocky, contentious ride that doesn’t appear to be easing.

Tschetter testifying
The Florida Channel

For the second day in a row, a Tallahassee administrative court heard a challenge against Florida’s proposed rules governing non-smoked, low-THC medical marijuana. Two farms and a trade group are trying to change the process for choosing the state’s five suppliers. The rulemaking is authorized under this year's Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which permits patients to use cannabis that doesn't induce a high. 

Brett Levin

The Department of Health is defending its plan for distributing low-THC, or non-euphoric, marijuana.  The agency’s proposal has drawn sharp criticism for its reliance on a lottery to award licenses.

The Department’s proposed rules have come under fire for leaving licensing up to chance rather than the quality of the applicant.  The Department says it has no way of comparing dispensing organizations, and nothing in the law actually stops it from using a lottery.  But Steven Turner, attorney for South Florida nursery Costa Farms, isn’t satisfied.

Capital Report: 09-05-2014

Sep 8, 2014

A win by Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist would not only make state history, it would be big for Democrats, who haven’t had a member of their own party serve in the gubernatorial seat since the late 1990s. So, as Sascha Cordner reports, what would an Attorney General win mean for the party and the Crist ticket?

Florida’s Office of Compassionate Use held its final hearing Friday in Tallahassee to discuss rules for low-THC marijuana.  Nick Evans reports implementing the law passed in the last legislative session has not gotten easier.