Where Will Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Go? – WMFE
Florida has legalized medical marijuana. But one big question: Where will those dispensaries go? And how much control will local governments have to regulate medical marijuana?
WMFE’s Health Reporter Abe Aboraya spoke with Intersection Host Matthew Peddie.
PEDDIE: Briefly, tell us what’s expected to happen next for implementation of Amendment 2 in Florida?
ABORAYA: So remember how Florida already has a limited medical marijuana program? Patients with cancer and seizures can get non-euphoric medical marijuana, the so-called Charlotte’s Web. And if two doctors agree that you’re terminally ill, you can get full-strength medical marijuana. Well starting January 3, doctors will be able to prescribe for those 10 new conditions under Amendment 2. Cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, for example.
PEDDIE: So Amendment 2 could be in effect much sooner than initially thought?
ABORAYA: Yes, but. There’s always a but. The Florida Legislature is expected to pass a law next session. They will start hammering out the details during committee meetings that start next month. There are deadlines, too: By June the Florida Department of Health needs to have adopted regulations, and by September patients need to be getting their marijuana cards. With advocates saying 450 to 500 thousand possible patients eligible … there’s going to be a lot of pressure to add more than the six growers currently licensed in Florida.
PEDDIE: Are we going to see the same kind of delays we did with Charlotte’s Web?
ABORAYA: That is the big question. This will be the third time the legislature has looked at this. So the legislators are going to be much better versed on these issues and there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. Certainly Florida could use the existing infrastructure to get medical marijuana to patients quickly. They could certainly say the existing nurseries will be