How Has Florida’s Medical Marijuana Policy Evolved Over the Years?

Medical marijuana policy reform in Florida has seen significant developments over the years. The journey began with the recognition of the medical value of marijuana, challenging its classification as a substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. As of 2021, Florida was one of 33 states that had legalized medical marijuana, a movement that started in 1996, and was also part of the 10 states that legalized recreational marijuana since 2012.

On July 13, 2021, the Florida Board of Medicine introduced new practice standards for certifying smoking marijuana as a route of administration under the authority of 381.986 Florida Statutes (F.S.). This required physicians authorized to issue certifications for medical marijuana in a smoking form to comply with these new standards. The full text of the legislation that enabled medical use of marijuana can be found in section 381.986, Florida Statutes, created by Senate bill 8A during the 2017 Special Session.

House Bill 291, introduced in 2021, aimed to legalize recreational marijuana. This bill authorized individuals aged 21 and over to use marijuana in limited amounts and defined the framework for licensing marijuana establishments. Similarly, Senate Bill 182 in 2019 redefined the term “marijuana delivery device,” providing exceptions for devices intended for the medical use of marijuana by smoking.

Effective June 12, 2023, the Department of Health’s Emergency Rule 64ER23-2 stipulated that all non-close relatives applying for a caregiver Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) identification card must undergo a level 2 background screening. This was part of the efforts to regulate the medical use of marijuana.

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Florida’s medical marijuana patient demographics, perceptions, and usage patterns have been a subject of study, with over 440,000 MMJ patients in the state. However, data on their demographics, reasons for use, and treatment outcomes remain limited.

Senate Bill 1576 in 2023 proposed the legalization of recreational marijuana, establishing the Division of Cannabis Management under the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This bill allowed persons 21 years and older to engage in specific marijuana-related actions and provided a framework for licensing marijuana establishments.

The bill summaries from the Florida Senate offer insights into the various amendments and legislative efforts related to the medical use of marijuana in the state, reflecting a dynamic and evolving landscape.

For more detailed information on these policies, you can refer to the following sources:

Medical Marijuana Policy Reform
New Practice Standards Related to Smoking Marijuana for Medical Use
Medical Use of Marijuana
House Bill 291 (2021)
Senate Bill 182 (2019)
Medical Marijuana Use Registry
Demographics, Perceptions, and Use of Medical Marijuana among Patients
Senate Bill 1576 (2023)
2019 Bill Summaries
Florida Medical Marijuana Policy

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