Editor’s note: Revised with clarification of Governor’s position, reflecting his concerns with cannabis today but backing away from the THC caps proposal.
Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested today’s medical marijuana may be too strong, with rhetoric seemingly bolstering a proposal currently in the Legislature. But he also says he’s not moving on it, showing the policy line a GOP Governor walks on cannabis issues.
Monday in Tallahassee, during a media availability with CFO Jimmy Patronis and legislative leaders, DeSantis told reporters that today’s cannabis hits different than the more innocent variants of bygone times.
“If you look at some of the stuff that’s now coming down, there’s a lot of really bad things in it. It’s not necessarily what you would’ve had 30 years ago when someone’s in college and they’re doing something. You have some really, really bad stuff in there, so I think having the ability to identify that, I think, that’s safety, and quite frankly when you get into some of that stuff, it’s not medicinal at that point for sure,” DeSantis said, in response to a reporter’s question.
Despite those concerns, DeSantis said he is not backing a THC cap.
“I have not endorsed that. That is not something I’m pushing. I’ve talked with Chris about it and it’s not something I’m endorsing,” DeSantis said.
Concerns notwithstanding, that may end the issue for the foreseeable future.
The legislation would cap THC at 10% in flower, a level below that which would be therapeutic for many of the state’s 500,000 medical patients. Concentrates would be capped at 60%, a number below current levels. The bill language offers no clarity as to what filler would be added to the product.
The Governor’s statement may not change the bill’s trajectory. It is moving in the House, but it is stalled in the Senate. Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Brandes says THC caps are a non-starter, and he has not scheduled the bill for a hearing.
The version of the bill in the House, sponsored by Rep. Spencer Roach, has survived two committee stops so far and awaits its final committee of reference to hear it.
The issue may come into play in the Governor’s reelection campaign with potential opponent Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried a proponent of the cannabis sector.
Fried, a Democrat, said last week that DeSantis has been “silent on this issue.”
“I don’t know what the Governor will do if the bill passes,” she said, noting that “horse-trading” often happens at the end of the Legislative Session.
Fried added that if DeSantis signed the bill imposing THC caps, he would be a “one-term Governor” and that Republicans would lose seats if the bill moving in the House became law.
DeSantis allowed smokable cannabis in 2019, a move that set him apart from former Gov. Rick Scott on the issue. But the move toward potential THC caps would have been more hard line than anything contemplated by the previous administration, noted for its slow-walk implementation of the constitutional amendment allowing medical cannabis, passed in 2016.
March 29, 2021 at 4:11 pm
Do not put any caps on this medication. It is helping people and im one of those people . Put a cap on the the narcotics that are killing people! We just got our access to relief dont take that away and put a cap on it ….
Do your research it is helping people ! Its an herb all natural and it works !
April 2, 2021 at 12:44 pm
Same here I cannot eat without vomiting due to a chronic condition I have and it helps me hold down food and even get an appetite
March 29, 2021 at 4:39 pm
This quote is from an actual governor that was elected by the people. We have no hope.
“You have some really, really bad stuff in there, so I think having the ability to identify that, I think, that’s safety and quite frankly when you get into some of that stuff, it’s not medicinal at that point for sure”
Just A Kid
March 29, 2021 at 4:47 pm
I guess Ron DeSantis wants to lose. Attacking something 71% of the state voted for seems like really bad politics, especially when you’re the head of the small government party. That’s just me.
March 29, 2021 at 4:58 pm
It seems when the MMJ program has greatly reduced the use of dangerous opiates, the state wants to back peddle. The level of THC doesn’t determine ones effects, it varies person to person & tolerance is built up over time. If the bill passes, those who remain the program will be taxed, having to buy twice the amount of medication. Caps don’t help the patient in anyway. Also patients already do have the option to buy “Low THC” products at the dispensaries, known as “CBD” flower.
March 29, 2021 at 7:30 pm
If it’s too strong take a little CBD. It works. Don’t take it away from people that it works for.
March 30, 2021 at 7:17 am
I am medicating on a vape that claims to be 16-20% thc. I am in my late 60’s and went through the whole weed scene in the 60’s and 70’s.This product is not your grand daddy’s weed. It is much stronger and does what I need it for. But I see some advertised as 26-28% thc content. My opinion is does someone really need that strength? I would be curled up in the fetal position. Potency like that is a concern of mine.
Susan Hallowell Kerk
March 30, 2021 at 7:40 am
please please do not put a cap on medical marijuana. It helps me so much. Thank You,
Susan H. Kerk R.N.
March 30, 2021 at 9:36 am
White people problems…smh
April 2, 2021 at 9:18 am
March 30, 2021 at 10:17 am
PLEASE NOT CAP MEDICAL MARIJUANA IT IS A HERB IT REALLY HELPS ME CAP OPIOIDS
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