Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

House passes medical marijuana bill

House passes medical marijuana bill

Two competing bills to regulate Florida's newly-expanded medical marijuana industry are set to sail through their final committee stops.

Marijuana activists at the capitol are unhappy with current versions of medical marijuana legislation proposed in the House and Senate.

A bill scheduled to be heard in a state Senate committee would decriminalize pot in the rest of the state. The bill would not allow the smoking of marijuana or for people to buy plant material to be taken home and smoked.

Meeting attendees scrambled to help the man, who reportedly was present on behalf of an epilepsy group.

Zaun said cannabis can be "important medicine".

The scene was a dramatic ending to the hearing, which largely centered around providing much-needed relief to patients suffering debilitating diseases like epilepsy, HIV, and AIDS.

Anticipating the November passage of what was known as Amendment 2, lawmakers last spring expanded the law to legalize full-strength marijuana for terminally ill patients.

Critics believe the legislature has dropped the ball on medical marijuana legislation.

The coalition would conduct "rigorous scientific research", and "guide policy" for the adoption of a statewide policy on ordering and dosing practices for medical marijuana.

Rep. Elizabeth Porter of Lake City says, "They voted for medical marijuana".

The committee backed an amendment by Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, to put a cap on the number of retail facilities dispensing marijuana. He urged support for the bill, explaining how many Iowans face the decision of obtaining marijuana illegally or moving to another state where it is legal. The house continues to push a 90-day delay in receiving medical marijuana after being prescribed.

He agrees with Upmeyer, explaining that House Republicans are more in favor of a limited approach compared to the bill that just went through the Senate.

The House bill would also limit the number of growers in the state, resulting in far fewer growers.

The House bill also bans vaporizing or edible marijuana products, an element House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the bill's sponsor, said could change. Schedule I means a drug has a high chance of abuse and isn't now accepted for medical use. "He has covered many of our concerns and there are things in Sen. To tell a loved one, my own cousin and have to rationalize the irrational, we can't do that", she said. "We don't want it so broadly implemented that anybody and everybody can get it".

"It will say basically that these license holders would have to produce a diversity plan or basically show how they are going to bring in other small businesses to come in and participate in the free market", said McCarthy.

"[Bradley] treats [marijuana] as less of a medicine than Rodrigues does", Fay said.

The House Appropriations Committee added nearly $25 million in funding to the bill.

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