Medical Cannabis Bill Signed by Governor Rick Scott.
June 23, 2017
Amendment 2 (A2) passed with 71.3% of support of voting Floridians during the 2016 election. A2 went into effect on January 3, 2017. The amendment states that Florida would have until July 3rd, 2017 to implement, and until October 3, 2017 to have cards to be distributed to qualifying patients.
Despite the many committees, subcommittees and, appropriation meetings during regular session, Florida legislators were unable to close the deal failing to produce a bill that would pass both the Florida Senate and House.
A special session on June 7th-9th, 2017 was called by Governor Rick Scott to tackle several issues, education, budget , tourism and medical cannabis. SB 8-A passed by the Florida House and Senate, and was subsequently signed into law on June 23, 2017.
What does this mean for us? The positives are that the 90 day waiting period is lifted, doctors can now recommend for a 70 day supply (up from 45 days), and there is a cap on how many dispensaries (25) a license holder can have.
While the new law is thought to be “better than nothing” by many people, it still leaves much to be desired for Floridians. The no smoking flower rule is already being challenged in Florida courts.
From a business perspective, the vertical integration model is still in effect. Efforts were made to add free market friendly by Senator Jeff Brandes (R) through proposed amendments to SB 8A, that were not able to get enough support from the Florida Senate. What we were left with is 10 new licenses added, with the caveat that some would be awarded to some that were engaged in active litigation with the State of Florida. It is stated in the new law, that new licenses will be added once the registry reaches 100,000 patients.