Medical Marijuana Rulemaking Continues

Feb 4, 2015

Florida is getting closer to allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.

But first, rules for how to grow the non-euphoric strain of the drug have to be hashed out — and that’s what a committee will be discussing over the next two days in Tallahassee.

The Florida Department of Health will have to pick the best five growers for medical marijuana in Florida, but they won’t be using a lottery to pick. A judge threw out the state’s original plan after Winter Park’s Medical Cannabis Association filed suit.

Louis Rotundo, the group’s chief lobbyist, said growers are getting more comfortable with the state’s proposed rules.

“One of the reasons that many members of our organization, and others around the state, were concerned to begin with was that the rule couldn’t withstand a legal challenge,” Rotundo said. “Now I believe it can. That takes away a lot of the uncertainty.”

The 12-person committee includes growers, doctors and cannabis experts.  

The Florida Legislature will take another look at legalizing medical marijuana under a bill filed  by state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. 

While the Pinellas County Sheriff had previously expressed some support for the measure, the Florida Sheriffs Association said Tuesday that it opposes the bill and says it will continue to fight attempts by supporters to approve a constitutional amendment, the Palm Beach Post reports.

 Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.