TALHASI – After years of partisan wrangling over the fate of Florida’s medical marijuana program, Democrats and Republicans are coming together to push what they call a major reform bill.
It can also make it more difficult for Florida residents to get access to Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products.
Those smokeable and edible products were part of a rapidly growing Florida market. Because Loophole in 2018 farm bill passed by CongressHemp products that contain as much Delta-8 as heavy marijuana products are not regulated in the psychoactive compound delta-9 THC — even though the compounds are very similar. Delta-9 produces the euphoric effect that medical and recreational marijuana users feel.
But the Delta-8 system is only slightly regulated by the state. cannabis reform bill, HP 679Sponsored by Representatives Andrew Laird, Dee Brandon and Spencer Roach, R North Fort Myers, it will change that.
It would also:
- Expand the use of telehealth in medical marijuana.
- Restrict medical marijuana ads.
- Have physicians complete a six-hour course before they are allowed to recommend marijuana to patients.
- Expand cannabis patient registration cards for two years instead of one.
- Prevent medical marijuana companies from sitting on an inactive license, then flipping them over for profit.
- Create a new medical marijuana testing advisory board, and expand regulations on testing marijuana products.
“The legislature for the past five years has been trying to roll back marijuana use,” Laerard said in an interview. “I would say today is the first step forward, and there will be more.”
Delta-8 products are made from hemp, just like other legal over-the-counter products that contain CBD or CBD. But products that can produce euphoric effects similar to medical or recreational cannabis, It has not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Under the Roach and Learned Bill, the state will require companies that sell Delta-8 to register their products with the state, and no A product containing the cannabis plant may be sold to fluorides younger than 21 years old.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who was a lobbyist in the cannabis industry before running for office, said she would welcome clarity in the Learned and Roach bill.
“I’ve always been a huge supporter of the expansion of cannabis in Florida, but I do it right,” Fred said. “We have to make sure that we protect consumers.”
Lawmakers and lobbyists say the bipartisan bill is a real compromise. It doesn’t give the most conservative lawmakers everything they want from marijuana. For example, the controversial policy that limits the amount of Delta-9 THC in marijuana sold to Florida patients is not on the bill. Roach sponsored this measure during the 2021 session.
“I think the political moment for THC caps has come and gone,” Roach said on Wednesday. “The new members coming into the legislature appear to be younger and have more liberal leanings, at least on the Republican side.”
The bill also does not contain cannabis measures favored by some progressives, such as a provision prohibiting discrimination in the workforce for cannabis patients.
But measures such as the expansion of telehealth, which It has become a flashpoint for some patients During the summer, it is very popular.
No accompanying bill has been introduced in the Senate, but Lairard announced at a news conference Wednesday that one would be introduced under the auspices of Senators Joe Grotters, R-Sarasota, and Shiffrin Jones, D-Miami Gardens. Jones confirmed this in a text message.
It’s unclear whether House Speaker Chris Sprouls or Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson support the measure. Their offices did not respond to emailed requests for comment.
“It’s refreshing to see a bipartisan effort, even if it isn’t (ultimately) successful,” said Ron Watson, a Tallahassee lobbyist who specializes in medical marijuana issues.
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