Gov. Ron DeSantis

Governor Ron DeSantis signed his first piece of legislation earlier this week: a bill allowing smokable medical marijuana in the state of Florida. It's been one of the top priorities of his administration.

DeSantis Signs Bill To Allow Smokable Pot

Mar 19, 2019
Person smoking near a window.
Wikimedia Commons

Pointing to the “will of the voters,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a measure repealing Florida’s ban on smokable medical marijuana. 

DeSantis Steps Up Alzheimer’s Efforts

Mar 15, 2019
Gov. DeSantis speaking at an event
Governor's Press Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis is directing the state Department of Health to add Alzheimer’s disease and related types of dementia as a priority in the State Health Improvement Plan. 

Smokable Medical Pot Gets Legislative Green Light

Mar 14, 2019
Bud from a Cannabis plant.
News Service of Florida / NSF

In their first full action of the 2019 legislative session, Florida lawmakers — many of them grudgingly — ceded to a demand by Gov. Ron DeSantis and overwhelmingly approved a proposal doing away with the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana. 

DeSantis Plan To Import Prescription Drugs To Lower Prices Gets House Support

Mar 13, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis was criticized last year for not having a health care platform while he campaigned for the state’s top job.

DeSantis Could Come Up Short On Environment Money

Mar 6, 2019
Rachel IaCavone - WGCU

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request for $625 million next year for environmental projects, including Everglades restoration, may be “pushing” the limits of a budget expected to be taxed because of the response to Hurricane Michael. 

DeSantis Backs ‘Shared Savings’ Health Plan

Feb 28, 2019
Gov. DeSantis speaking at an event
Governor's Press Office

Gov Ron DeSantis is throwing his support behind a proposal that could lead to insurance companies and HMOs returning premiums to savvy customers who are willing to shop around for health care. 

Drug Re-Importation From Canada Finds New Champions, Old Snags

Feb 26, 2019
Florida Governor's Office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he intends to bring down skyrocketing drug prices by leaning on an existing federal law that could enable the state to import prescription meds wholesale from Canada, where they’re much cheaper. He’s citing direct support from President Donald Trump, whose administration would have to approve the endeavor. 

Key Senator Backs Medicaid Change

Feb 26, 2019
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The Senate’s top health-care budget writer wants to make permanent the elimination of Medicaid retroactive eligibility. 

Julio Ochoa / Health News Florida

A Senate proposal that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana is ready to go to the full Senate after the Rules Committee unanimously signed off on the measure Wednesday. 

DeSantis Seeks To Delay Health Insurance Changes

Feb 20, 2019

In a move that could affect tens of thousands of state workers, Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed putting on hold an overhaul of the program that provides health insurance coverage to employees. 

Christian Simmons / WMFE

It’s turning into an interesting week for medical marijuana in Florida: Growers are working on deals to get edibles in the state, while lawmakers are again taking up the issue of smoking medical cannabis. 

Patients could soon be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, but they’d have to purchase pre-rolled joints with filters, under a measure approved by a key House panel Tuesday.

Committees in the House and Senate advanced legislation to nix Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, following an ultimatum issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis shortly after the Republican took office last month.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis is committed to protecting the state’s Medicaid program for needy residents through evidence-based medicine, Mary Mayhew, his choice to run the Agency for Health Care Administration, said Monday. 

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Florida House leaders have rolled out a proposal that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana, but only after going through what one critic called a “bureaucratic mess of red tape.” 

Inmate Health Costs Drive Up Prison Budget

Feb 5, 2019
Florida Department of Corrections

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to fund the Florida Department of Corrections next year at $2.7 billion, a spending plan that has some criminal-justice reform advocates pointing to struggles facing Florida’s prison system as a result of increased health-care costs. 

News Service of Florida

A high-profile effort to repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana morphed Monday into legislation that, according to the proposal’s author, would be worse for patients than doing nothing at all. 

DeSantis Goes Light On Medicaid Cuts

Feb 4, 2019
Florida Governor's Office

As a congressman, Ron DeSantis carved out a name for himself railing against Medicaid spending. 

‘Free Market’ Marijuana Changes Could Be Hard Sell

Feb 1, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

He’s not calling it a cartel, as Gov. Ron DeSantis did.

But House Speaker José Oliva acknowledged this week that the state’s “vertically integrated” medical marijuana system – which requires operators to grow, process and dispense cannabis and related products – “isn’t terribly free market.” 

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Whether Florida lawmakers will do away with the state’s prohibition against smoking medical marijuana remains up in the air, despite an ultimatum issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Saying they failed to heed the will of voters, DeSantis this month ordered lawmakers to eliminate a ban on smokable medical marijuana and, if they don’t comply, threatened to drop the state’s appeal of a court ruling that found the prohibition violated a 2016 constitutional amendment.

ABE ABORAYA / WMFE

Gov. Ron DeSantis still wants to eliminate Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, but he’s walked back his opposition to a state system that resulted in what the new governor this month called a cannabis “cartel.” 

Governor Ron DeSantis wants $625 million dollars for environmental spending in the upcoming budget. DeSantis announced a plan Tuesday to fund more than 20 projects in the Everglades over the next five years.

Peter Haden/WLRN

A Florida sheriff suspended this month by the governor and accused of failing to prevent a school shooting has requested a state Senate hearing. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis still hasn’t found the doctor he’s looking for. The governor, who took office Jan. 8, told reporters on Tuesday that he is continuing to interview candidates to lead the Florida Department of Health.

The secretary of the department must be a physician and doubles as the state surgeon general.

News Service of Florida

An appeals court Tuesday put on hold a case challenging the constitutionality of a ban on smoking medical marijuana, as Gov. Ron DeSantis pushes lawmakers to eliminate the ban. 

Second Bill Filed To End Marijuana Smoking Ban

Jan 29, 2019
iStock

With Gov. Ron DeSantis backing the issue, Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed a bill Monday that would eliminate a ban on smoking medical marijuana.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last week that he has asked the Legislature to change Florida law to allow smokable medical marijuana. He also wants to reduce restrictions on who can grow and sell cannabis products. And the new Agriculture Commissioner has plans to create a Director of Cannabis position.

So far, it appears that newly sworn in Florida lawmakers are taking a sharp turn from former Gov. Rick Scott’s approach to try to limit access to medical cannabis in Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet approved Danny Burgess Jr. Thursday as the Department of Veterans' Affairs Director. Burgess is a former Pasco County Republican Representative who in November defeated his opponent by a nearly 2-1 margin. 

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Both sides in a lawsuit challenging Florida’s prohibition on smoking medical marijuana have asked an appeals court for a second time to delay the case. 

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Gov. Ron DeSantis’ choice to run the Agency for Health Care Administration, Mary Mayhew, quickly hit the ground this week in her new job. 

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