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Florida DOH Moves Forward With Marijuana Rules

Update Date: Jan 19, 2017 07:00 AM EST

Since the approval of Amendment 2 in November, Florida state officials have started proposing rules that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients. The premilinary text, released by the Florida Department of Health on Tuesday, aims to help regulate the cannabis industry. 

The rule proposed that only one out of 10 patients with HIV/AIDs, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis would be eligible to access medical marijuana. Additionally, only the Florida Board of Medicine has the authority to allow its use to those with the specific medical conditions.

According to The Ledger, the proposed rule would maintain the state's current cap on marijuana vendors. It is currently limited to seven licensed "dispensing organizations," to treat an estimated 500,000 patients who would be eligible under Amendment 2.

Florida Politics also reported that patients, physicians, medical marijuana treatment centers and caregivers would be required to register online through the Compassionate Use Registry's process. Dispensaries would then be required to follow the same record keeping, security, product testing, and other safety standards.

"The eligible patient population grows significantly under Amendment 2 - potentially tenfold. I'm confident that both the Department and the Legislature recognize the need to create affordable, safe and accessible medicine to the deserving patients," said Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for the United for Care campaign.

There are five public hearings that are scheduled next month with meetings in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee. The early release gives the people of Florida a chance to weigh in on the rules and regulations for the medical marijuana program.

"I believe the Department is being appropriately cautious and awaiting the Legislature's direction," said Taylor Patrick Biehl, a lobbyist at Capitol Alliance Group who represents the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida.

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