Nikki Fried says THC caps would ‘tax’ patients, marijuana industry
Nikki Fried. Image via Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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'This would be a huge hit to the industry and the patients.'

Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services blasted a Republican bill to cap the THC content in medical cannabis.

Commissioner Nikki Fried, a first-term Democrat, inveighed against a measure filed last week in the House by Rep. Spencer Roach that would cap flower at 10% THC, edibles at 15%, and concentrates at 60%.

“This would be a huge hit to the industry and the patients,” Fried told reporters Tuesday in Tallahassee.

Roach was appointed to a statewide drug policy group by House Speaker Chris Sprowls, an indication that the House is ready to pass THC caps yet again, as it has before.

Fried, a proponent of medical cannabis and a potential 2022 challenger to Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose position on caps is unknown, pointed out that “71% of Floridians voted for medical marijuana in the Florida Constitution.”

Fried said that people should be “very worried” about the THC caps, noting that the leadership in the House and Senate are entertaining arguments.

The “tax” affects the industry as well.

“These providers are going to have to destroy plants, are going to have to regrow genetics that don’t exist now in the state of Florida. It will set the program back years,” Fried said. “People should be angry, should be frustrated.”

Fried said the “bill not only makes it harder for the patient to have access,” it “creates a tax on medical patients.”

Joining Fried in objection to caps are some of the state’s medical cannabis companies, including Trulieve.

“Forcing a limit on potency available in the medications patients rely on would not only set the medical market back years, it would force patients to buy more and spend more to achieve the same amount of relief available now,” the company asserted in an email urging people to sign a Florida for Care petition opposing the caps.

These caps have been considered before, but movement this year is earlier than previous, and stumbling blocks that once existed in the Senate may not be so formidable in 2021.

Speaker Sprowls, regarding the caps proposal, said Tuesday that’s a “conversation we deserve to have.”

“The advertisement does not always match the reality of what’s in there,” Sprowls said, calling the medical marijuana program a “political creation” and saying that legislators had an obligation to “verify it” and “see if that makes sense.”

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]


11 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    March 2, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    “People should be angry, should be frustrated.”
    Whenever you see a pol make a remark like this it shows that people really aren’t angry, really aren’t frustrated. Sprowls is right, this entire pot thing is a political stitchup intended to line the pockets of a few kingpins in Florida. This is actually good for the industry. If THC caps are lower people will just have to buy more to get the same effect, right????

    • ANDREW SINGER

      March 5, 2021 at 2:18 pm

      People are angry, boomer. Sprowles is an idiot.

  • Ron Kirkland

    March 3, 2021 at 6:42 am

    This stirs up any medicated patient! Just what is the rest of the United States doing with medical and recreational cannabis? Cap Anything? Even Mexico is leaning legal with Canada. What or who is the hold-up in United States? We are not living in Refer Madness of the 1930`s

    • John Thomas

      March 3, 2021 at 7:21 pm

      Science and widespread experience have shown marijuana has no significant harms. Those who shout about serious harms are lying. Polls show 68 percent of all Americans want to end the monstrously destructive, insane war on marijuana consumers. – 75 percent say leave it up to the states. More than 90 percent approve of medical marijuana. Now, even a majority of Republicans want to end this sick, witch hunt. – So why do we still have it?

      Because police and prosecutors build their careers and empires on the fraudulent marijuana prohibition. Because industries like alcohol and pharmaceuticals don’t want the competition. Because other interests like the bogus “treatment” quacks, the drug testing industry and the prison industries depend on it for their life’s blood. Because many banks and shaky corporations couldn’t exist without the laundered money.

  • Person from Wisconsin

    March 3, 2021 at 6:46 am

    They did the same thing in Wisconsin to beer. Said it was good for the public. Now, in order to catch a buzz from drinking a beer, you have to drink an entire six pack instead of one or two. Guess what, though? You have to pay a substantial tax on those beers, which use to cost a nickel, then a dime, then a quarter, then a dollar, then the tax and caps on alcohol came and not a beer is six dollars in a tavern and you have to have a couple to get a buzz. Caps on content are nothing more than a tax increase hiding behind our best interests and while they are back their they are stealing from our wallets.

    • John Thomas

      March 3, 2021 at 7:22 pm

      Science and widespread experience have shown marijuana has no significant harms. Those who shout about serious harms are lying. Polls show 68 percent of all Americans want to end the monstrously destructive, insane war on marijuana consumers. – 75 percent say leave it up to the states. More than 90 percent approve of medical marijuana. Now, even a majority of Republicans want to end this sick, witch hunt. – So why do we still have it?

      Because police and prosecutors build their careers and empires on the fraudulent marijuana prohibition. Because industries like alcohol and pharmaceuticals don’t want the competition. Because other interests like the bogus “treatment” quacks, the drug testing industry and the prison industries depend on it for their life’s blood. Because many banks and shaky corporations couldn’t exist without the laundered money.

  • Richard Wilkes

    March 3, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Exactly the reason why republicans are blamed for the failed war on drugs! Yes, people in a Free Country should be furious and demand politicians be responsible to the people they have injured with propaganda from the 70s. Now we all know truth took 50 years in a Free country and we still aren’t mad enough to raise hell for our Freedom and Rights. Soon a man will stand up and lead Freedom into our society by holding those accountable in government who are responsible for much death and destruction to our Constitution and people. Corruption is rampant in America.

  • John Thomas

    March 3, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    Thank goodness, we have at least one government official in Florida who will stand up for reason and the people. —- Thank you, Commissioner Nikki Fried!

    Science and widespread experience have shown marijuana is not addictive and is far less harmful than alcohol. – Yet, more than 600,000 innocent Americans are arrested for simple marijuana possession each year and made second-class citizens – for life!

    They will forever face large obstacles to decent employment, education, travel, housing, government benefits, and will always go into court with one strike against them. They can even have their children taken away!

    25 million Americans are now locked away in this very un-American sub-class because of this bogus “criminal” record. That has a horrible effect on the whole country, being a massive waste of human potential.

    The fraudulent marijuana prohibition has never accomplished one positive thing. It has only caused vast amounts of crime, corruption, violence, death and the severe diminishing of everyone’s freedom.

    After the pandemic, there is no more important domestic issue than ending what is essentially the American Inquisition.

  • John Thomas

    March 3, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    Thank goodness, we have at least one government official who will stand up for reason, justice and the people’s will! Thank you, Commissioner Nikki Fried!

    We are finally beating back this insane, greed-inspired, war on Americans! — End ALL of the fraudulently enacted marijuana prohibition ASAP – as the people demand!

  • John Thomas

    March 3, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Thank goodness, we have at least one government official who will stand up for reason, justice and the people’s will! Thank you, Commissioner Nikki Fried!

  • John Thomas

    March 3, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Sorry, folks. I would post but posts were rejected, so I would alter a little and post again. Now I see they’ve all found their way somehow.

    If I could delete most of them, I would.

Comments are closed.


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