Florida Legislation Would Limit THC of Medical Marijuana

A Florida bill would limit the THC percentage in smokeable medical marijuana, and would make it harder for sick children to obtain the medicine, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

The legislation was introduced by Representative Ray Rodrigues, who is the Chairman for the House Health and Human Services Committee. The measure would also set limits on the potency of medical marijuana in edibles and would fast-track the state health department’s rule making for the medical marijuana industry, which was legalized by voters in 2016.

“While the House bill would set what many consider a low cap of 10 percent on the level of THC in whole-flower products for smoking, the daily amount of THC that would be permitted in edible products — 7,000 mg for a 35-day supply, or 200 mg per day — is much higher than what most patients would consume, according to industry experts”, reports the Sentinel.

Critics blasted the House proposal as an attempt to “essentially gut” the Legislature’s recent repeal of a ban on smokable medical marijuana.

Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for the political committee that led efforts to pass the 2016 constitutional amendment, called the House’s latest approach ironic.

The proposal “basically acts as a tax on patients” by causing them to spend more money to “buy more marijuana to achieve the same effect as if the caps were not in place,” Pollara said Tuesday.

“The other irony is it would result in patients having to smoke more marijuana to achieve the desired effect,” he said. “If there’s two things the Florida House hates, it’s higher taxes and smokable marijuana, and this has the functional impact of doing both.”

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana that produces a euphoric effect. Levels of THC in plants grown by medical marijuana operators average about 20 percent or more, growers in Florida said.

The Senate also has a version of the bill, but Sen.atorJeff Brandes said Tuesday he believes the proposal will be merged with a bill (SB 1618) that would increase the minimum tobacco-smoking age in Florida from 18 to 21. The legislation is a priority of Senator David Simmons, an Altamonte Springs Republican who is a top lieutenant of President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton.

Under current law, children under age 18 must get two doctors to approve cannabis as a treatment. For smokable marijuana, the second doctor must also be a board-certified pediatrician. The House proposal, however, would require a second opinion from a board-certified pediatrician for all forms of ingestion, including tinctures or oils, for patients under 18.

“Youth use is something that they certainly seemed to be concerned about. It seems as though the Legislature is crafting laws in order to make cannabis available but as a treatment of last resort for minors,” Christian Bax, the former director of the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use, told the News Service. The switch would make it virtually impossible for many sick children to get access to anything other than low-THC cannabis, said Moriah Barnhart of the group “CannaMoms.” Barnhart’s 8-year-old daughter, Dahlia, was diagnosed with brain cancer as a 2-year-old, she said.

2 thoughts on “Florida Legislation Would Limit THC of Medical Marijuana”

  1. Hey, @RayRodriguez, I’m not sure what *your* #MMJ purpose is re: Limiting THC to such a low amount (10%?!) in the recently approved smokable Medicinal Cannabis. I, however, can tell you mine. Despite intense treatment with medicine that can, literally, kill me, I have a very active case of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since 2000. Most times, my only bit of relief from uncontrollable spasms, nerve pain, inability to sleep because of intense pain and headaches (to name a few) was opioids. Imagine my excitement when 71% (!!) Of my fellow Floridians agreed that I (and tens of thousands of others in potentially even worse situations than myself) should have a safe, natural alternative to, as you likely know, only moderately effective, opioid meds that are being over-controlled (“to stop drug addicts from getting it”) to the point I can barely fill my own legal prescription (that I now am forced to do on a monthly basis instead of every three months), thanks to more restrictive legislation from you and your colleagues.
    All that said, do you *actually think* 71% of Floridians wanted the chronically Ill to have to pay EXORBITANT (and, trust me, they ARE.) prices on THREE too FOUR (or more?) TIMES the Cannabis medicine so that we are (LITERALLY) *forced* to spend THREE TO FOUR TIMES **AS LONG** TRYING TO F$&@ING medicate ourselves into a suboptimal state of continued PAIN???
    I am… I’m beside myself with this news today. Disappointment would be too weak a word to describe my state of irritability with Legislator’s working so *bleeping* hard to undermine the voters and residents of FL- for WHAT purpose? ? ? Because you’re worried about the profits of pharmaceutical companies?? What else could it be?? Well, something has to give. Either make the “terrible” opioids easier to access for all or piss off from making ridiculous Cannabis restrictions. Also? It’s now been THERE-***YEARS*** since we passed this, and STILL @FLDeptOfHealth has not even proposed a shape (Square! Ok DONE!), packaging ( Plain w warnings like all the others-DONE!). This isn’t as hard as you’re dragging your feet for YEARS.

  2. I grow cannabis is oregon. I would have no idea how to grow shitty pot. There is no way to grow less thc unless you dont feed them. If you want terrible pot, ship it in from mexico, but it will still be higher than the 10% suggested in the article. This is a joke

Leave a Comment