Leaving Medical Marijuana Out Of Special Session Prompts Uncertainty

Jun 6, 2017
Originally published on June 5, 2017 4:42 pm

Florida’s nascent medical marijuana industry is encouraging state lawmakers to draft a measure implementing amendment two.  If they refuse, the Department of Health will take the lead.

When lawmakers gavel in later this week medical marijuana won’t be part of the agenda, but they can add it to the call with a two thirds vote. 

Ben Pollara of Florida For Care is working to convince them to take it up.

“Listen we’re going to continue to push on the lawmakers to include this in the call this week,” Pollara says.  “I think if that doesn’t happen it is not likely to happen, at least legislatively, until next year.”

The Department of Health will be responsible for Amendment Two’s rollout if lawmakers don’t act, and the department says it’s ready to develop new rules for the industry. 

But Berger Singerman regulatory attorney Colin Roopnarine says their work could end up in court.

“They do run a risk,” Roopnarine says.  “And as I’ve said time and again, I do sympathize with the Department of Health because they are in a very precarious situation—kind of a Catch 22—without the legislative guidance that I believe they were hoping would come out.”

Likely adding to the possibility of court challenges is the Department’s decision to establish a new rulemaking process.  The department explains it made the move because it’s implementing a constitutional amendment rather than a new statute.

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