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House Eyes THC Limit For Medical Marijuana

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The day after a Senate version stalled, Rep. Ray Rodrigues filed a nearly identical proposal Tuesday that would impose a 10 percent cap on euphoria-inducing THC in medical marijuana for patients under age 21.

Rodrigues, an Estero Republican who has shepherded the House’s medical-marijuana legislation for years, filed the measure as an amendment to a sweeping Department of Health legislative package (HB 713). The bill is slated to be heard on the House floor Thursday, which will be the first time the House takes up the controversial 10 percent THC cap.

Although the cap is a priority for Republican House leaders, including Speaker José Oliva, the measure has not been vetted by a committee. Rodrigues’ proposal comes despite comments from Senate President Bill Galvano, who indicated Tuesday the THC cap was in peril in the upper chamber.

Rodrigues’ amendment would also set limits on doses of edible medical marijuana and would limit daily doses of smokable medical marijuana to .08 ounces. Under Rodrigues’ plan, doctors could only order cannabis with a THC level greater than 10 percent for patients under age 21 if they get permission from the Department of Health.

The cap would not apply to terminally ill patients. Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, was forced to withdraw a similar amendment from the health department’s package during a Senate Rules Committee hearing Monday, after receiving bipartisan pushback on the proposal. Galvano, R-Bradenton, told reporters Tuesday he had been “interested in how the THC limit for children would play out” in the Rules Committee.

“Obviously there was no appetite for that in the Senate,” he said.