Appropriations Committee sends its medical marijuana bill to Senate floor

medical marijuana

A Senate panel cleared its version of the medical marijuana implementing bill, sending it to the floor and setting House and Senate up for negotiations over the two different proposals in the final days of the 2017 Legislative Session.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill (SB 406) that would implement the 2016 medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, the bill is generally favored by medical marijuana advocates; but several expressed concerns about access during the final committee stop Tuesday.

“We have a huge supply deficit in the state,” said Dennis Deckerhoff, whose son uses low-THC cannabis.

Deckerhoff said one of the dispensaries in the state has run out of the product his son uses, forcing him to go to a second dispensary, which has since changed the formula.

“Access means getting the medicine you need, not the medicine the dispensary is producing,” said Deckerhoff, who urged lawmakers not to pass the bill.

Bradley’s proposal, among other things, grandfathers in existing dispensing organizations as medical marijuana treatment centers, brings five additional medical marijuana treatment centers online by Oct. 3, and requires the Department of Health to license four more medical marijuana treatment centers after each time 75,000 patients register with the state’s compassionate use registry.

The bill also removes the three-month waiting period and limits the number of retail facilities from which growers can dispense medical marijuana.

The vote comes one day after the House Health and Human Services Committee approved its version of an implementing bill. The House proposal (HB 1397), which is considered more restrictive, includes the 90-day wait period; bans pregnant women from using medical marijuana, even if their doctor recommends it, and prohibits vaping and edibles.

Bradley said the Senate is in “active negotiations with our friends in the House” over the proposal. The House version is also headed to the floor.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


  • William Patton

    April 25, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Prevents vaping and edibles? The two most used methods and they’re being omitted. Well that is rich… and just about the most idiotic thing that could have been included in a MMJ bill. What in God’s name is the matter with these legislatures? I hope they know the people will remember at the polls. Hope the money is worth it!!

    • Walter Sobchak

      April 26, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Brother, you are so right.

      Legislators are ensuring the failure of the whole effort.

      They are turning their backs on voters and ensuring that voters will return the favor by legalizing Cannabis next time so the a$$ clowns in Tallahassee can’t screw it up again.

  • Walter Sobchak

    April 26, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Both House & Senate bills are a cruel joke for patients who spent hundreds of dollars and waited 90-days…for what?

    No choices on delivery options.

    Legislators aren’t doctors and they shouldn’t be telling patients how to take their medicine.

  • Bob Dakota

    April 26, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Where did you get the idea that senator Bradleys bill is favored by advocates. These advocates are looking at the dark hole when considering representative Rodrigues bill. What choice do they have? We the 71% of us that voted for amendment 2 do not support either bill because they do not serve us. Florida has a population of 20M and these legislators believe that 7 licensees are enough to serve all Floridians. Wow just look at the bag up job the current licensees have done. Neither bill severs the people of Florida. They are both designed to protect the special interest groups that have brought and paid for the loyalty of Rodrigues and Bradley. Just look at the amount of money the these special interest groups have donated to them. Of course they are not alone, how many other Florida politicians have benefit from these special interes groups. Pay to play is what they are protecting and voting for. We the People are tire of corrupt politicians that ignore the will of the people.

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