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Challenges Loom For Medical Marijuana Amendment

Marijuana could soon be legal in Florida for terminal patients.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Marijuana.jpg
Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service
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New medical marijuana provisions are in effect as of today.  The change expands the range of eligible conditions and patients in Florida.  But as the Department of Health develops new regulations, it could find itself between a rock and a hard place.

The new amendment blesses medical marijuana as a treatment for ten medical conditions.  Attorney Sunai Edwards says that could expand the pool of eligible patients.

“It could be a very, very large number,” Edwards says.  “And based on that, there will be a need for more physicians to become qualified treaters to prescribe or to order medical marijuana.”

And a physician shortage isn’t the only difficulty looming.  State regulators could be dogged by the same rule challenges they’ve seen since 2014, but now they’ll face a burden they haven’t seen before: a deadline.  If the Department of Health doesn’t have its framework in place by early October, every patient in the state can take it to court.

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Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.