In 2014, the Florida legislature enacted the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, (Chapter 381.986, Florida Statutes), which allows qualified patients in Florida to obtain “low-THC cannabis” based on a physician’s recommendation. In March of 2016, the statute was amended to include full-strength marijuana, termed “medical cannabis,” for use by terminally ill patients only. Thus, there are two types of medical marijuana for which Florida patients may be eligible depending on their condition.
Under Florida law, only licensed “dispensing organizations” may grow and distribute medical marijuana. Florida’s Department of Health approved the operation of six dispensing organizations and has authorized them to cultivate marijuana for medical use. However, the Department has not yet authorized those organizations to sell medical marijuana to patients.
The Office of Compassion Use, a division of the Department of Health, has been charged with implementing Florida’s law on medical marijuana use and has been posting on its website periodic updates concerning the state of medical marijuana in Florida. In July 2016, the Office issued an update stating that the Department anticipates medical marijuana being available for sale to patients in Florida by September 2016. That notice emphasizes that “there is currently no legal way for patients to purchase or possess medical marijuana in Florida.”
In November 2016, voters approved Amendment 2, which will create a comprehensive medical cannabis program with significantly expanded qualifying conditions. The Department of Health has six months to create the regulations for the program and license businesses to serve medical cannabis patients.
For up-to-date information concerning the status of medical marijuana in Florida, please consult the website of the Office of Compassionate Use which can be accessed at the following link: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/office-of-compassionate-use/resources/index.html.
SB 1030 (2014) - Creating a program for therapeutic access to "low-THC cannabis."
HB 307 (2016) - permits cultivation and use of “medical cannabis” and authorizes additional “dispensing organizations”
The current version of the statute can be viewed at the following link: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=381.986&URL=0300-0399/0381/Sections/0381.986.html
Amendment 2 - will create a comprehensive medical cannabis program with significantly expanded qualifying conditions. The Department of Health has six months to create the regulations for the program and license businesses to serve medical cannabis patients.
Florida Administrative Code Chapter 64-4 (certain rules are still under development)
The current version of the regulations may be viewed at the following link: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=64-4
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program
For more information and updates on Florida’s medical marijuana program, please visit the website of the Office of Compassionate Use (accessible here: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/office-of-compassionate-use/resources/index.html)
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