Marijuana Flower in FL: The Smoke & Mirrors

  • April 19, 2019
  • /   Author Name
  • /   Articles,Cannabis & Controlled Substances
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By: Tara Tedrow

The battle over whether medical marijuana can be smoked by qualified patients came to an end on March 18th, 2019, when Governor DeSantis signed SB 182 into law.  Effective immediately, these regulations add marijuana flower to the list of available products for patients statewide.  But patients beware- these new rules are narrowly crafted and don’t give you carte blanche for convenient use.  Here are the top takeaways on the new smoking regulations:

  • Vape, e-cigarette and convenience stores will be servicing medical patients who are recommended smokable marijuana.  Delivery devices intended for the smoking of medical marijuana, such as rolling papers and bongs, can now be bought inside and outside of licensed medical marijuana treatment center (“MMTC”) dispensaries.
  • If you want a prerolled marijuana cigarette from a licensed MMTC, that wrapping paper cannot be made with tobacco or hemp. While I can certainly understand not using tobacco, the hemp restriction is yet another puzzling legislative add-on.
  • Patients cannot tote around an unlimited supply of product.  There is a 4-ounce possession limit of marijuana in a form for smoking.
  • The door is not wide open for younger patients.  A qualified physician may not issue a physician certification for marijuana in a form for smoking to a patient under 18 years of age unless:
    • the patient is diagnosed with a terminal condition,
    • the qualified physician determines that smoking is the most effective route of administration for the patient, and
    • a second physician who is a board-certified pediatrician concurs with such determination.
  • You cannot use your medicine anywhere you want. The following constraints are placed on patients, as medical marijuana cannot be used:
    • On any form of public transportation, except for low-THC marijuana not in a form for smoking.
    • In any public place, except for low-THC marijuana not in a form for smoking.
    • In a qualified patient’s place of employment, except when permitted by his or her employer.
    • In a state or county correctional institution.
    • On the grounds of a preschool, primary school, or secondary school, except as provided in Florida Statutes Section 1006.062.
    • In a school bus, a vehicle, an aircraft, or a motorboat, except for low-THC marijuana not in a form for smoking.
    • In an enclosed indoor workplace.

The regulations continue to pile up for patients, but the intended goal of public safety and patient protections remain the same.  The sales of medical marijuana products over the past two years have continued to grow- over 212,000,000 mgs sold in 2017 and 1,400,000,000 mgs in 2018.  Though regulations remain robust for smokable product, there is no doubt that this new line of medicine will be a big hit with patients.

For any questions, please contact Tara Tedrow, co-chair of the Lowndes Cannabis and Controlled Substances Group.

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