Florida: Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment

Tallahassee, FL: Proposed rules by the Florida Department of Health to regulate the dispensing of medical cannabis are contrary to the intent of Amendment 2, the ballot initiative approved by 71 percent of voters on Election Day.

Specifically, the draft rules would not permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with chronic pain – instead limiting patients to those with one of ten qualifying conditions. As approved by voters, the Amendment provides physicians the discretion to recommend medical marijuana in any instance where they believe that its medical use “would likely outweigh the potential health risks.”

The draft rules also seek to significantly curtail the number of licensed medical cannabis cultivators and providers. Public officials are also considering provisions to limit patients from legally accessing herbal forms of the product, instead requiring those in the program to consume cannabis-infused liquids or extracts.

In response to the proposed rules, regulators have scheduled a series of public forums to take place in the coming weeks in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, and Tallahassee. Concerned citizens may also leave feedback on the Department of Health’s website.

For more information, please contact NORML Political Director Justin Strekal at (202) 483-5500 or NORML of Florida.