Surprise amendment would cap THC levels in medical cannabis
Could 10% caps on smokable cannabis be on the way?

medical marijuana
Exceptions for terminally ill patients.

An amendment filed Friday morning to a wide ranging health policy bill (SB 230) could limit THC levels in medical cannabis.

Sen. Gayle Harrell, the Stuart Republican who chairs the Health Policy committee, filed language that would cap for patients under-21 smokable cannabis at 10% THC.

For those worried about a cap, it’s a starting point for discussion.

Most smokable cannabis in Florida is well above this threshold.

Exceptions to the proposed rule can be made for terminally ill patients, or for patients under 21 whose physicians can make the case that they require more THC. However, the doctor must then stipulate why that’s the case.

“The amendment imposes a 10% THC cap on medical marijuana for children only. Specifically, the amendment imposes a 10% THC cap on medical marijuana for qualified patients under 21 years of age, providing exceptions to the 10% THC cap for terminally ill patients under 21 years of age and for patients under 21 who may need higher concentrations due to the severity of their medical condition,” the Senate Majority Office asserted Friday.

The bill, which includes language relating to AIDS/HIV, health care in underserved areas, and the regulation of dental hygienists, has rolled through committees without a no vote.

Senate Rules, the final committee of reference, takes up the bill Monday at noon.

Much discussion of and consternation about this year’s attempt to get a THC cap instituted on Florida’s medical marijuana market has happened already, even without legislation filed.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, who held a press conference with veterans last week against the cap, said that he believed the Senate would “hold the line” against the limitation.

“Florida has turned the corner on medical cannabis,” Brandes said, noting that in the Senate, there is “broad support against the cap.”

Nonetheless, Brandes said to “keep an eye” on legislation, where a THC cap could easily be floated as an amendment as the Legislative Session barrels toward close.

It appears that warning was justified.

The issue, dormant much of the Legislative Session, was sparked anew when House Speaker Jose Oliva suggested a cap for flower and derivatives was a “priority.”

The Speaker argues new super-strains in “Europe” produce “schizophrenic results, especially in young, developing brains.”

Oliva did not detail the strains, but the South Florida cigar magnate’s position was clear. The House would be open to a cap.

Oliva has had dialogue with Senate President Bill Galvano on the matter.

Senate budget chief Rob Bradley, a key architect of the current medical marijuana scheme in Florida, is open to talk.

“I’m open to having any discussion on health policy matters. And let’s hear what the argument is,” Bradley said. “I’ve never really heard the argument, you know. I’ve heard some anecdotal things about why it’s a good idea or a bad idea, but I’ve never heard a long, substantive presentation at a hearing on the matter.”

Whether that discussion should happen in the next to the last week of Session, as an amendment on an unrelated bill, is an open question.

But it’s the one the Senate will mull in one of its last committee meetings of 2020.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


6 comments

  • Elizabeth Eytchison

    February 28, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    everyone will go back to the streets if they do,no joke.

  • Ron

    February 28, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Correction, it is an across the board 10% cap on all products not just flower.

  • MARK EDWARD RUSSELL

    February 28, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Please reach out to your Florida Senator and tell her/him that you oppose this restriction.
    Find your Senator here: http://m.flsenate.gov/senators

  • Bill James

    February 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Title very misleading — this is for people under 21 only. Please adjust the title.

  • Jay

    February 29, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Hopefully Gov. DeSantis would veto. He seems to have been a proponent of medical marijuana users in FL.

    If it gets through and Gov. DeSantis signs it, he lost my vote forever.

    Hey fellow Republicans… lets pick our fights a little better… do we want to be a socialist state because of your idiot amendments on marijuana? Keep it up and find out..

  • J

    March 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Gee I guess I’ll stop using the markets on tor to aquire my medicinal concentrate from out west for $350 an ounce. Not!

Comments are closed.


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