Take Two of These and Call me in the Morning: Florida’s New Medical Marijuana Laws
Written by Moses & Rooth on January 30, 2017
On January 3, 2017, Amendment 2 expanded the qualifying medical conditions for obtaining medical marijuana. The Department of Health Office of Compassionate Use is the government agency responsible for creating the regulatory structure for Medical Marijuana. The development of these new regulations are still in the works. So, in the meantime, we are still stuck with the old Florida Statute for low THC and medical use – Florida Statute 381.986:
A physician is authorized to order low-THC cannabis to treat a qualified patient suffering from cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms; order low-THC cannabis to alleviate symptoms of such disease, disorder, or condition…
The Department of Heath Office of Compassionate Use has been working on drafting the new regulations. The latest version of the new statute (which has not yet been finalized) defines the qualifying conditions for distribution as:
(e) “Qualifying debilitating medical condition” shall mean conditions eligible for physician ordering contained in s. 381.986(2), F.S., or cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis. Also, any debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, as determined by the Florida Board of Medicine.
Only a qualified physician under the statute and rules set out by the Office of Compassionate Use are authorized to make the diagnosis and provide the patient with a script for medical marijuana. The Department of Health Office of Compassionate Use has six months to implement the new law and nine months to begin issuing identification cards under the law. In the meantime, the grow houses and dispensaries will be setting up shop for a boom of business to the State of Florida.