On Feb. 7, 2017, Florida state officials hosted a public workshop in Fort Lauderdale on the state Department of Health’s proposed rules for Florida’s medical marijuana system.
Met with an outpouring of opposition from doctors, patients and medical marijuana advocates, many argued that the proposed rules would limit medical marijuana access and restrict doctors from treating their patients.
According to the Sun Sentinel, the majority of public feedback requested the DOH do the following:
- Increase the number of medical marijuana treatment centers;
- cancel the vertical integration requirement for licensees;
- cancel the requirement that a patient must see a doctor 90 days prior to receiving a medical marijuana recommendation;
- prohibit edibles packaging that could appeal to children;
- remove the requirement in Amendment 2 that states that conditions not listed in the amendment must be approved by the Florida Board of Medicine before being added to the list of qualifying conditions; and
- allow unlisted diseases analogous to listed ones, such as inflammatory bowel disease being comparable to Crohn’s disease, to qualify for medical marijuana.
An additional public hearing was held at 9 a.m. on Feb. 8 in Tampa at the Tampa Branch Laboratory to discuss the proposed rules, and two more public hearings have been scheduled to do the same — one on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. in Orlando at the Orange County Health Department and one on Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. in Tallahassee at the Betty Easley Conference Center.
Individuals unable to attend the workshop meetings are able to submit their comments online at the Florida Department of Health’s website.