Florida medical marijuana legislation has finally expanded the state’s medical marijuana program. On June 26, 2017, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law SB 8-A, a bill that expands the state’s program by adding cultivators and qualifying conditions.
Under the new law, 10 more medical marijuana treatment centers will be added to the seven providers that were previously licensed under Florida’s limited low-THC medical marijuana program, with the state having to license the 10 additional providers by Oct. 3.
According to the law, “Within 6 months after the registration of 100,000 active qualified patients in the medical marijuana use registry, the department shall license four additional medical marijuana treatment centers … . Thereafter, the department shall license four medical marijuana treatment centers within 6 months after the registration of each additional 100,000 active qualified patients in the medical marijuana use registry.”
Each medical marijuana treatment center will be allowed to operate 25 dispensaries; however, for every 100,000 patients enrolled, the cap will be increased by five.
Epilepsy, cancer, chronic muscle spasms and terminal conditions were considered qualifying conditions under Florida’s low-thc law, but the new legislation expands the medical marijuana program’s list to include post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and related conditions.
Certified patients will be able to use medical marijuana in edible, topical or vaporized forms. Smoking medical marijuana is not permitted. Because of a smoking ban, Amendment 2 financier, John Morgan, plans on suing the state.
“It’s not perfect,” Morgan told the Miami Herald. “I’m going to sue for the smoking but I know there are sick people who will see relief starting in July.”