After Florida citizens voted by an overwhelming majority (71%) to amend the State Constitution to allow patients with a number of health issues, which includes: cancer, HIV/AIDs, and epilepsy, to have access to medical marijuana.
Florida voters passed medical marijuana legislation in the November 2016 General Election, approximately seven (7) months ago. Medical marijuana legislation was just signed by the Officers and presented to Governor Rick Scott (R) on Monday, June 19, 2017, after legislators had to have a special session because they could not reach an agreement during the regular session.
Even still, the law introduced by Senator Rob Bradley (R –Fleming Island), allows access to medical marijuana for qualified users at a glacial pace.
According to the seventy-eight (78) page Bill, patients will only be allowed to use marijuana if they have chronic pain, and only if that pain is in connection with a qualifying medical condition. In addition, patients will only be able to consume it by using edibles, oils, pills, and “vape” pens, but they cannot smoke it.
Moreover, the Florida Medical Marijuana Bill does the following:
- Establishes procedures for physicians to issue certifications to patients who have qualifying medical conditions;
- Establishes a residency requirement for patients to be issued a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card;
- Establishes qualifications required to become a caregiver including requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to create a caregiver certification course that each caregiver is required to take;
- Limits the number of patients each caregiver may have;
- Grandfathers in existing dispensing organizations as MMTCs and requires the DOH to license ten (10) new MMTCs by October 3, 2017, and then four (4) new MMTCs each time the registry increases by 100k registered patients.
- Limits the number of dispensing facilities each MMTC may operate to twenty-five (25) statewide and per region based on the percentage of population in each region; Note: the total number of dispensaries may increase by five (5) per 100k registered patients –the number of dispensaries allowed will reach a cap on April 1, 2020;
- Requires lab testing of dispensary products and creates a certification program for medical marijuana testing laboratories;
- Preempts the regulation of cultivation and processing of marijuana to Florida;
- Allows local governments to ban dispensaries; Note: if a local government does not ban dispensing facilities then it may not place any restrictions on the number of dispensing facilities allowed and may not adopt any regulations for dispensing facilities that are more restrictive than its ordinances regulating regular pharmacies;
- Requires the DOH and DHSMV to establish educational campaigns related to medical marijuana;
- Among other marijuana regulations.
While the Bill still limits medical marijuana use in Florida, it has to allow reasonable access to patients with qualifying needs. If later, the legislation is found to be too restrictive, it may have to be amended again.
Find an Attorney for Marijuana Defense in Leon County, FL
Regardless of whether the charge is manufacturing, trafficking, or simple possession of marijuana, these offenses should be taken seriously. Even if you think recreational possession of the substance should not be a crime, Florida law still considers it illegal. If you are facing any sort of marijuana charges, it is imperative to hire an attorney who will defend your charges aggressively.
The attorneys at Pumphrey Law have defended various drug-related charges throughout Leon County, and they will fight for your rights. The attorneys understand the importance of fighting the criminal charges and keeping your right to drive. A marijuana defense lawyer will handle your case with the utmost importance and work to get the best possible result.
Pumphrey Law represents clients throughout the Florida Panhandle, including Tallahassee Woodville, Midway, Havana, Monticello and Bristol. Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation.