House medical marijuana amendment could quicken pace for new licenses

ray rodrigues 1

After months of discussion, the House appears ready take steps to open up the medical marijuana industry.

Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues filed an 82-page, delete all amendment on his medical marijuana implementing bill (HB 1397) early Tuesday morning. The amendment comes just hours before the House is scheduled to vote on the bill.

The amendment, among other things, appears to quicken the pace by which the state issues licenses for medical marijuana treatment centers.

Under the proposed amendment, current license holders would be grandfathered in and receive a license to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana, as well as low-THC cannabis. The amendment also calls on the department to license any applicants denied a license, if the applicant was awarded “a license pursuant to an administrative or legal challenge.”

While that language was contained in the amended version of the bill lawmakers discussed on Friday, the amendment put forth Tuesday calls on the Department of Health to issue 10 more licenses “as soon as practicable, but no later than July 1, 2018.”

According to the amendment, one of the applicants in each region must be the “next-highest scoring applicant after the applicant or applicants that were awarded a license for that region; was not a litigant in an administrative challenge on or after March 31; and is not licensed in another region.” The department must also issue a license to a member of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalist Association.

The amendment then calls on the department to issue four additional licenses within six months after the registration of 100,000 active, qualified patients in compassionate use registry.

The bill as it currently stands doesn’t bring new licenses online until 150,000 qualified patients register with the medical marijuana use registry.

The House is scheduled to take up the bill when it meets at 10:30 a.m. today.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


  • Bob Dakota

    May 2, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Floridians be damned that is the moto of our politicians. Who cares that 71% of us voted for amendment 2. We were not the ones that lined their pockets with cash and favors. Pay to play. Our politicians are corrupt, Rodrigues and Bradley will keep their power for now and the money that bribed them. Time to take the gloves off, sue, hire investigator and expose their obvious corruption. Oh yeah that is suppose to AG Bondi’s job, I guess she in bed with these politicians. She is as dirty as they our esteemed politicians. Pam time to take a bath and start protecting “we the people”.

    • Canaryinthemine

      May 3, 2017 at 7:43 am

      The ONLY corrective action will be to take the state recreational on cannabis to stop the governing from THEIR absolute refusal to hear us that never gave up our political power but lent it to the representative. Shame on them. They don’t care that how they are crafting restrictions makes the legal medical unaffordable they DON’T care

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