Medical Marijuana Advocates Hoping To Extend Use

FLORIDA: Calling the state’s issuance of five medical marijuana cultivation licenses inadequate, advocates for patients and nurseries are redoubling their efforts to expand the list of ailments that qualify for treatment with low-potency marijuana.

A non-euphoric strain of marijuana popularly known as ‘Charlotte’s Web’ has been found to effectively treat patients suffering from a severe form of epilepsy. Last year, the Florida Legislature legalized the use of the strain by those patients, as well as people diagnosed with cancer.

Cultivation of Charlotte’s Web is regulated by the Florida Department of Health‘s Office of Compassionate Use, which this week awarded licenses to one nursery in each of the state’s five regions. Roughly two dozen nurseries that had applied didn’t make the cut, and some are considering appealing, arguing the state’s scoring system may have been flawed.

Tallahassee’s leading medical marijuana lobbyists are pledging to help facilitate the appeals while they work to convince lawmakers to add 14 new ailments to the two qualifying conditions currently in the medical marijuana law. Ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to ALS, the added conditions could produce a flood of new medical marijuana patients and a need for more cultivation licenses.

Florida Medical-Marijuana Applicants Foresee Stores, Door-To-Door Service

FLORIDA: Eight companies vying to become the first in Central Florida to produce medical marijuana are proposing a wide range of retail options, from one central dispensary with delivery services to more than a dozen retail stores.

The Florida Department of Health is reviewing applications to decide which one will be licensed for the Central Florida market. That region encompasses 18 counties and runs from Stuart to Daytona Beach on the Atlantic coast, through Metro Orlando to St. Petersburg to Inverness on the Gulf Coast.

The winning company will get the Central Florida franchise to produce medicines derived from cannabis that have shown promise treating people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

State officials have indicated they hope to award Florida’s five regional licenses later this year, and some applicants say they can have product available for sale within a couple of months of getting the license.

 

Florida Amendment 2 (2014), Full Text of Constitutional Changes – Medical Marijuana Production, Possession and Use.

FLORIDA: Complete Text of Florida Amendment 2 2014: The following is the complete text of the amendment that would be added to the state constitution if Florida Amendment 2 is approved on November 4, 2014.

(a) PUBLIC POLICY.

(1) The medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or personal caregiver is not subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law except as provided in this section.

(2) A physician licensed in Florida shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law for issuing a physician certification to a person diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition in a manner consistent with this section.

(3) Actions and conduct by a medical marijuana treatment center registered with the Department, or its employees, as permitted by this section and in compliance with Department regulations, shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law except as provided in this section.

(b) DEFINITIONS.

For purposes of this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Debilitating Medical Condition” means cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.

(2) “Department” means the Department of Health or its successor agency.

(3) “Identification card” means a document issued by the Department that identifies a person who has a physician certification or a personal caregiver who is at least twenty-one (21) years old and has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana.

(4) “Marijuana” has the meaning given cannabis in Section 893.02(3), Florida Statutes (2013).

(5) “Medical Marijuana Treatment Center” means an entity that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their personal caregivers and is registered by the Department.

Florida House, Gov. Scott Back Medical Marijuana Bill

FLORIDA: Gov. Rick Scott said he will sign a medical marijuana bill poised to pass the Florida Senate, after the measure received overwhelming support today from the House as children whose lives hang in the balance looked on.

“I’m a parent and a grandparent. I want to make sure my children, my grandchildren, have the access to the health care they want. So, I know the House has passed the bill. It’s going back to the Senate. If it passes, I’m going to sign it,” Scott told reporters this evening.

Scott had wanted to limit access to the drug, not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, to patients with a variety of illnesses who are involved in clinical trials.

The version (SB 1030) approved by the House in a 111-7 vote and sent back to the Senate — with one day left in the annual legislative session — includes language proposed by Scott but goes much farther.

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Initiative No Slam Dunk

FLORIDA: Medical marijuana enjoys broad backing in Florida, with polls in the past year indicating that 65 to 70 percent of voters support the idea.

But passing a constitutional amendment to legalize medical pot may not be the cakewalk that such numbers suggest.

Florida requires a 60 percent majority to amend the state Constitution. Older voters — who usually dominate turnout — favor medical marijuana, but not as strongly as younger voters do.

Florida Republicans Soften Stand On Medical Marijuana

FLORIDA:  E. Ronal Mudd was a Methodist chaplain who helped open Florida’s first hospice in Jacksonville, then became a cancer patient in it.

By 1984, Mudd’s final weeks were consumed with just trying to keep his food down. He asked a friend to get him some marijuana.

That friend was Don Gaetz, now the Republican Florida Senate president.

“The quality of his life was undermined by this intense nausea,” Gaetz recalls. “Ron Mudd said to me, ‘I understand that marijuana might help; can you get me some?’ And I did, and it helped.” [Read more…]

Charlie Crist On Medical Marijuana In Florida: 'I Will Vote For It'

FLORIDA:  Gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist (D) said he will vote for a November constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

“This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida,” Crist said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. “I will vote for it.”

Polls show the ballot initiative is extremely popular — and could help unseat Republican incumbent Rick Scott. 82 percent of Floridians support the amendment, according to a survey late last year by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, including 70 percent of registered Republicans.

Florida Economists Debate Potential Economic Impact of Medical Marijuana

FLORIDA: State economists are trying to determine the potential economic impact of medical marijuana in Florida. That’s because there’s currently a petition drive to put an amendment on the 2014 ballot that would allow for some forms of legalized weed.

Debate at the state capital Monday focused on how medical marijuana would be taxed, if at all. Currently prescription drugs aren’t taxed in Florida, but some over-the-counter treatments are. [Read more…]

Florida Economists Debate Potential Economic Impact of Medical Marijuana

FLORIDA: State economists are trying to determine the potential economic impact of medical marijuana in Florida. That’s because there’s currently a petition drive to put an amendment on the 2014 ballot that would allow for some forms of legalized weed.

Debate at the state capital Monday focused on how medical marijuana would be taxed, if at all. Currently prescription drugs aren’t taxed in Florida, but some over-the-counter treatments are. [Read more…]

Florida Medical Marijuana Proposal To Be Reviewed By Supreme Court

FLORIDA: Thursday, organizers celebrated a big win for decriminalizing medical marijuana in Florida.

United For Care announced they had obtained over 100,000 signatures in one month, which is more than enough to initiate the first step in getting the initiative on the 2014 ballot: a Supreme Court review of the proposal language. [Read more…]