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Expanded Access to Medical Marijuana In Florida Goes Into Effect Tuesday

Expanded access to medical cannabis in Florida goes into effect on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The result of  voters passing Amendment 2 in November, the new laws will significantly expand what medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana, but the rules to fully implement Amendment 2 are still months away.

The disconnect between the Jan. 3 deadline and the rules governing Florida's medical cannabis industry means patients, doctors, and lawmakers are charting new and uncertain waters.

Currently there are  only six licensed marijuana dispensaries in Florida. Patients must have a 90-day relationship with a  doctor who has completed the required training before they can get a recommendation for medical cannabis. 

Despite the passage of Amendment 2, there's a growing number of moratoriums for marijuana dispensaries in cities and villages across Florida, including  Sarasotaand  Estero. Local leaders are implementing a "wait-and-see" approach as the state Department of Health, and lawmakers in Tallahassee, grapple with the rules and laws that will ultimately govern a statewide system of legal marijuana harvesting, licensing, selling, and more.

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Matthew F. Smith