Florida voters have approved cannabis for medical use on November 8, 2016 and Florida became the first state in the South with a full-scale medical cannabis program. The new amendment states that patients with illnesses of the “same kind or class as or comparable to” serious illnesses, such as cancer, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy would be eligible to access medical marijuana.
Under a 2014 law that legalized a limited form of medical cannabis, patient don’t have access to medical cannabis until they’ve been seeing their doctor for at least three months.
In 2016, Florida started allowing existing CBD operators to sell full-strength THC products to terminally ill patients. And as of January 2017 – after voters passed Amendment 2 – anyone with a qualifying medical cannabis condition is permitted to purchase full-strength THC products.
With new amendment it is available to open Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC). These entities can cultivate, process and distribute medical cannabis and related products. Each medical cannabis treatment center must receive authorization at three stages, (1) cultivation authorization, (2) processing authorization, and (3) dispensing authorization, prior to dispensing low-THC or medical cannabis.
The new law, approved during a June (2017) special session, allows the state’s medical-marijuana operators to sell edible products – currently banned in Florida – to qualified patients, so long as the products aren’t geared toward children. The law is also requiring health officials to issue 10 new “medical marijuana treatment center” licenses. More licenses must be issued once the number of patients in a statewide registry reaches 100,000. Florida’s rapidly expanding medical cannabis program just hit the 100,000 patient mark, potentially paving the way for state regulators to approve more businesses. Each license holder can operate 25 dispensaries.
A Florida judge lifted a stay on smoking medical cannabis on June 11 (2018), opening up new revenue potential for the state’s medical cannabis businesses.
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