Understanding Florida’s Evolving Marijuana Policies and Regulations

Florida’s legislative landscape regarding marijuana has undergone significant changes, particularly in the medical and recreational realms. Key developments are highlighted by a range of statutes and bills, reflecting an evolving approach to marijuana regulation and use.

Under the authority of Chapter 381 Section 986 – 2018 Florida Statutes, new practice standards for the certification of smoking marijuana as a medical treatment became effective on July 13, 2021. These standards mandate that all physicians authorized to issue certifications for medical marijuana in a form for smoking must comply with these guidelines. This includes obtaining the voluntary and informed written consent of the patient for each certification, maintained in the patient’s medical record.

A notable development in the realm of recreational marijuana is House Bill 291 (2021), which advocates for the legalization of recreational marijuana. This bill authorizes individuals over 21 to engage in certain activities involving personal marijuana use in limited amounts and outlines the framework for marijuana establishment licensure.

Similarly, Senate Bill 1576 (2023) focuses on the legalization of recreational marijuana, proposing the establishment of the Division of Cannabis Management under the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This bill also emphasizes the rights of those aged 21 and over in relation to marijuana use and details the licensing process for marijuana establishments.

The legal landscape continues to evolve with House Bill 679 (2022), which addresses the regulation of medical marijuana use and proposes the creation of the Medical Marijuana Testing Advisory Council. This bill also highlights the prohibition of economic interests or financial relationships between certified medical marijuana testing laboratories and medical marijuana treatment centers.

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In addition to these bills, a scoping review titled “Medical Marijuana Policy Reform Reaches Florida: A Scoping Review” and updates from the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) reflect ongoing discussions and adaptations in Florida’s approach to marijuana regulation.

Understanding Florida

Further developments include the requirement for NON-CLOSE RELATIVES applying for a caregiver Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) identification card to complete a level 2 background screening, as per the Department of Health’s Emergency Rule 64ER23-2, effective after June 12, 2023.

These legislative changes and initiatives reflect Florida’s ongoing efforts to adapt and refine its approach to marijuana, balancing medical needs, recreational interests, and regulatory responsibilities.

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