State health officials have enacted new rules imposing explicit limits on the amount of medical cannabis that patients may legally obtain and consume. The new rules, which took effect on Monday, were established absent any public input and come nearly six years after voters initially approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical access for qualified patients.
The new rules, available from the Florida Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) website, stipulate the following: “A qualified physician may not issue a physician certification for more than three 70-day supply limits of marijuana or more than six 35-day supply limits of marijuana in a form for smoking. A 35-day supply limit for marijuana in a form for smoking shall not exceed 2.5 ounces. … The equivalent daily dose amount limit and 70-day supply limit for approved routes of administration of marijuana are as follows: edibles (no more than 60 mg of THC daily | no more than 4,200 mg of THC per 70-day supply), vaporized products (no more than 350 mg of THC daily | no more than 24,500 mg of THC per 70-day supply), oral capsules or tinctures (no more than 200 mg of THC daily | no more than 14,000 mg of THC per 70-day supply), sublingual tinctures (no more than 190 mg of THC daily | no more than 13,300 mg of THC per 70-day supply), suppositories (no more than 195 mg of THC daily | no more than 13,650 mg of THC per 70-day supply), topical creams (no more than 150 mg of THC daily | no more than 10,500 mg of THC per 70-day supply), marijuana in a form for smoking (no more than 2.025 grams daily).”
The rules allow for physicians to request exceptions to the limits for certain patients.
NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano described the newly imposed limits as a “solution in search of a problem.” He said: “These arbitrary and unnecessary limits were established without input from either the patient community or from those physicians who specialize in providing oversight to medical cannabis patients. They will likely result in creating unnecessary confusion and they will place an undue burden upon patients and their doctors. Decisions regarding cannabis care ought to be between patients and their physicians; they should not be made by bureaucrats.”
NORML’s Political Director Morgan Fox added: “The process of creating these emergency rules was unnecessarily opaque. Patients and their recommending physicians deserve transparency. They deserve to know exactly how the state came up with these seemingly arbitrary limits on vital medicine without seeking input from requisite stakeholders. By failing to do so, these rules will have unintended consequences that anyone familiar with the failures of prohibition can see coming a mile away.”
Nearly 800,000 Floridians are registered with the state to access medical cannabis products from licensed dispensaries.