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On March 18, 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis legalized smokable cannabis. When he took office in January, he made it a priority to find a solution to allow for smoking.
Over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016…I have honored my commitment…to dismiss the state’s appeal…which had held the prior law to be unconstitutional.
—Governor DeSantis, statement to media
Low-THC medical cannabis was legalized in Florida in 2014 and full-strength “medical marijuana” was legalized in 2016. Former Governor Rick Scott signed the state’s first medical cannabis bills into law.
The ban on smokable cannabis was instituted in state statute by the Florida Legislature. It specifically stated that all forms of cannabis were allowed except for smoking. In a November 2016, a constitutional ballot initiative was supported by 71.3-percent of Florida voters. The authors of the amendment intended for it to encompass all forms of medical cannabis. Many Florida voters, when they approved the measure, also believed it encompassed smoking medical cannabis.
It’s this constitutional amendment that Governor DeSantis honored on Monday by signing the Legislature’s new law expanding access to smokable cannabis for Florida patients.
It means more choice for physicians and patients when it comes to cannabis treatment options. But, there are still some things that need to happen before physicians can recommend smokable cannabis.
Keep reading to learn exactly what has to happen first.
Qualified physicians now have the option to recommend smokable cannabis to patients. Florida physicians and patients should be aware of two things:
Let’s break down the conditions and limitations:
Governor DeSantis’ signature put the new law into immediate effect. However, smokable products must first be approved by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) before they are available to be dispensed by licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs). The development is outlined below and can be tracked on the OMMU’s website: https://knowthefactsmmj.com/
If a patient and physician decide together that smoking cannabis is the best method of treatment, three important things need to happen:
1. The physician must include smokable cannabis in the patient’s certification.
2. The physician must submit documentation to the Board of Medicine or Board of Osteopathic Medicine that includes:
3. The patient will have to sign the updated consent form that includes the risks of smoking. This consent form can only be signed by the patient, in-person, with their physician
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