FROM: Gray Robinson
DATE: March 17, 2019
SUBJECT: 2019 Legislative Session – Week Two Summary
During Week 2 of the Legislative Session, lawmakers sent welcome legislation to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Now, the new Republican Governor is expected to sign a major change to Florida’s medical marijuana law. The bill (SB 182) would allow some patients who have been prescribed medical marijuana to smoke the medicine, something previously banned by statutes.
With a Wednesday bill-signing deadline, it will likely be the first thing DeSantis authorizes into law while in office.
Repeal of the no-smoke ban happened early on during the 60-day lawmaking process, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. In January, DeSantis told lawmakers that if they didn’t send him a bill by March 15, he’d drop the appeal to a lower-court ruling that found the ban on smokable marijuana unconstitutional.
The Senate approved the measure two weeks ago and the House sent the bill to DeSantis last Wednesday. Through the legislative process, lawmakers wrote some restrictions to the proposal.
For example, in order for minor patients to smoke, they must be terminally ill and a second doctor must confirm the first physician’s recommendation of smokable cannabis.
As well, the legislation permits “a 35-day supply of marijuana in a form for smoking” but not to “exceed 2.5 ounces unless an exception to this amount is approved” by the Department of Health.
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