Judge Rules Florida’s Ban on Smoking Medical Cannabis is Unconstitutional

A Circuit Court judge in Florida has ruled that the state’s ban on smoking medical cannabis – enacted by the legislature – is unconstitutional.

In 2016 Florida voters overwhelmingly passed an initiative that legalized medical cannabis through a constitutional amendment. The law allowed marijuana to be consumed through various methods, including smoking it. However, the following year the legislature enacted a ban on smoking medical cannabis, requiring patients to consume it through other means such as tincutres and topicals.

People United for Medical Marijuana and two patients challenged this ban in court, arguing that the amendment’s language only mentions smoking in public, meaning that patients should be allowed to smoke in private. Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, arguing that the ban is unconstitutional.

Read moreJudge Rules Florida’s Ban on Smoking Medical Cannabis is Unconstitutional

Medical Marijuana Implementation Bill Signed Into Law by Florida Governor

As promised, Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a bill to implement the legalization of medical marijuana.

The governor’s signature comes after the House amended and passed the bill with a 103 to 9 vote, which was followed by a 29 to 6 vote in the Senate. The new law implements a medical cannabis legalization initiative approved by voters last year (Amendment 2). Controversially, the legislation removes patients’ ability to actually smoke medical marijuana, leaving them to rely on other methods of consumption such as edibles and tinctures.

“Don’t get me wrong: this legislation is FAR from perfect. But it is a major step forward for patient access, and is drastically different and more patient-friendly than either chamber’s original implementing bills”, says Ben Pollara of Florida for Care. Pollara was previously the Campaign Manager for United for Care, the group that successfully placed Amendment 2 on last year’s ballot.

Read moreMedical Marijuana Implementation Bill Signed Into Law by Florida Governor

Florida Lawmakers Approve Bill to Butcher Medical Cannabis Law Approved by Voters

A Florida House committee has overwhelmingly passed a measure that would drastically alter a medical cannabis law approved by voters last year.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee passed House Bill 1397 yesterday with a 14 to 1 vote. The measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, would prohibit the smoking of medical cannabis and cannabis products and would ban edibles entirely. In addition, it would prohibit patients from vaping unless they are terminally ill. This would leave patients to rely on other methods of consumption such as topicals and pills.

This would be a drastic change to Amendment 2, the initiative that legalized medical cannabis in the state; it was approved by voters in November with 71% in favor. The constitutional amendment allows those with a recommendation from a physician to possess and use medical cannabis, and to purchase it from a licensed dispensary.

Read moreFlorida Lawmakers Approve Bill to Butcher Medical Cannabis Law Approved by Voters

Florida Officials Begin Issuing Medical Marijuana Cards to Patients

Florida’s Office of Compassionate Use has officially started issuing medical marijuana cards to patients and caregivers.

florida medical marijuanaAccording to Mara Gambinieri, spokesperson for the state’s Department of Health, their Office of Compassionate Use began processing patient applications once the state’s new medical marijuana rules took effect on February 19th.

Under the state’s law, those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician to use medical marijuana can apply with the department to do so. Qualifying conditions include HIV/AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic muscle spasms, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Crohn’s disease.

Read moreFlorida Officials Begin Issuing Medical Marijuana Cards to Patients

Florida Amendment 2 Takes Effect Tuesday: Here’s What You Need to Know

By Associated Press

Florida Amendment 2 takes effect Tuesday, January 3rd. Here’s a look at what the measure does.

Dr. Joseph Dorn has had a unique vantage point when it comes to the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in Florida.

Dorn was the medical director of Surterra Therapeutics, which is one of the six dispensing organizations licensed to grow and distribute medical cannabis in the state. He resigned from that position two months ago and has opened a medical marijuana treatment center as Amendment 2 takes effect on Tuesday.

The constitutional amendment, which was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters, allows higher-strength marijuana to be used for a wider list of medical ailments. However, the true measure of what the amendment means won’t be immediately seen until a new set of rules are adopted and implemented by the Florida Legislature and the Department of Health.

Read moreFlorida Amendment 2 Takes Effect Tuesday: Here’s What You Need to Know

Florida Legalizes Medical Cannabis

Florida legalizes medical cannabis through the passage of Amendment 2

florida legalizesFlorida Voters have given overwhelming approval to Amendment 2. Once in effect, the constitutional amendment will legalize cannabis as a medicine, including a system of dispensaries.

With the passage of Amendment 2, Florida has become the first state in the South to full legalize medical cannabis. The law allows those with a physician recommendation to possess and use cannabis for medical purposes. The initiative establishes a system of regulated dispensaries, usable by any qualified patient.

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Donor Announces 5-to-1 Match for All Donations to Florida’s Medical Cannabis Initiative

floridamedcanBarbara Stiefel, a medical cannabis supporter in Florida, has given a massive boost of adrenaline to the campaign behind Amendment 2 to legalize medical cannabis, which is up for a vote next month. Stiefel has agreed to match all donations between now and election day 5-to-1. This means that if another donor makes a $1,000 contribution, Stiefel will immediately put in $5,000 of her own money. If a separate donor makes a contribution of $10,000, she’ll put in $50,000, and so on.

“As you may have read.. Sheldon Adelson dropped another $500,000 against us”, says Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager for United for Care, the group behind Amendment 2. “However—thanks to the generosity of a major supporter of Amendment 2, Barbara Stiefel, we now have a way to close the gap quickly.

Read moreDonor Announces 5-to-1 Match for All Donations to Florida’s Medical Cannabis Initiative

Florida Chamber of Commerce Poll: 73% of Voters Support Amendment 2 to Legalize Medical Cannabis

amendment 2
Florida voters will get their say on Amendment 2 on November 8th.

The vast majority of voters in Florida are in favor of Amendment 2 to legalize medical cannabis, according to a Florida Chamber of Commerce statewide poll released less than six weeks before the initiative is up for a vote.

According to the poll, 73% of Florida voters support Amendment 2, with just 22% opposed to the measure. Only 5% remain undecided.

If passed into law, Amendment 2 would legalize the possession and use of medical cannabis for those with a variety of conditions who receive a recommendation from a physician.

Read moreFlorida Chamber of Commerce Poll: 73% of Voters Support Amendment 2 to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Poll: 77% of Florida Voters Support Initiative to Legalize Medical Cannabis

floridaNew polling conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research has found that a vast majority of voters in Florida support Amendment 2, an initiative to legalize medical cannabis which will be voted on this November 8th.

According to the poll, 77% of Florida voters sat that they support Amendment 2 with just 20% opposed. Only 3% of voters remain undecided.

“Voter support for medical marijuana in Florida is stronger than ever”, says Kevin Akins, one of the poll’s authors. “A broad and diverse coalition of voters across age, racial, and gender lines support Amendment 2 by a winning margin.”

Read morePoll: 77% of Florida Voters Support Initiative to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Florida’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary to Open Next Week

tincThe first state-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensary in Florida’s history will open on Tuesday, July 26th in Tallahassee.

Trulieve announced today that they’ve received approval from the Florida Department of Health to begin dispensing low-THC cannabis products such as tinctures, oils and pills. They’re the first outlet in the state to receive such approval, which is possible due to the passage of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act (passed in 2014) which allows those with certain conditions such as cancer and epilepsy to use medical cannabis if they receive a recommendation from a physician.

Read moreFlorida’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary to Open Next Week