No cap: Nikki Fried blasts Ron DeSantis’ latest medical marijuana restrictions
Nikki Fried. Image via Colin Hackley.

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'You wanted to come out here and hurt the patients of the state.'

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is speaking out against new caps on medical marijuana allotments imposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ administration.

In Tallahassee Thursday with cannabis advocates, Commissioner Fried voiced objections to new rolling limits in concentrates.

The Florida Department of Health imposed a cap last month on patients, restricting them to 24,500 MG of THC per 70-day period, in the wake of Emergency Rule 64ER22-8 from the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

The rule establishes daily limits for each individual route in categories ranging from edibles and topicals to vape carts and concentrates, but for many patients the aggregate cap is the real impact.

For some patients, the new restrictions subvert doctors’ recommendations, and restrict them from buying their medicine until they are below the rolling cap, which at least in theory could be a boon for the black market.

The rule does allow for doctors to petition for exceptions on behalf of patients to both the new regulation and a parallel rolling cap on marijuana flower, which is a new amelioration from the OMMU.

Yet despite that potential window for exception, Fried and allies condemned what they framed as the latest crackdown on the cannabis program, with Fried saying this emergency rule was an “act of cruelty” designed to circumvent patient input with hearings.

“You wanted to come out here and hurt the patients of the state,” Fried said of the DOH.

“Instead of moving this program forward, they have continued their assault on patient rights,” Fried said, saying that patients had less than three days’ notice to learn that access was cut by as much as two-thirds.

“Roll back these limits,” Fried insisted.

Dr. Barry Gordon, who serves on FDACS’ Medical Marijuana Advisory Commission, backed Fried up.

“Cannabis can be utilized safely and effectively by the citizens of the state of Florida,” Gordon said, noting his patients want “safe” and “legal” palliatives and that the new caps “get in the way of the doctor/patient relationship.” The more elastic caps, he said, allow patients to experiment with treatment modalities that are best for them.

“You need all the routes and the doctor should not be encumbered,” Gordon, a prescribing doctor for six years, said.

Commissioner Fried’s criticisms of the DeSantis-era stewardship of the medical cannabis program have ramped up particularly under current Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, whom she says is nothing short of a “disaster” for the cannabis program.

Many of her previous complaints converged on increasing access for smaller-capital and minority growers to enter Florida’s surging cannabis space, a topic she revisited Thursday. She also objects to the end of telehealth for doctor consultations, which were allowed during the pandemic but were ended last year by the DeSantis administration.

Fried has also been a frequent critic of vertical integration, and said last month that the current 22 licenses for Florida’s Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers fell 16 short of what statute requires, a position she reiterated Thursday.

The program did not allow new companies into the market in a way that would comply with state law in recent years. She believes current statutes privilege multistate operators, such as those that dominate cannabis markets in many legal and quasi-legal states.

There was a time when Gov. DeSantis expressed concern about the marijuana “cartel” dominating Florida’s medical market. The Governor’s concern for free market dynamics in the Free State of Florida’s cannabis sphere soon enough gave way to other concerns, especially olfactory ones.

“What I don’t like about it is if you go to some of these places that have done it, the stench when you’re out there, I mean, it smells so putrid,” he told reporters in Tallahassee in January, regarding the legalization of adult use cannabis, popularly called “recreational use.”

More recently, DeSantis has suggested that the price to play in what is an increasingly commercialized Florida market should go up.

“I would charge them an arm and a leg. I mean, everybody wants these licenses,” DeSantis said in August, suggesting that he sees a value in restricting market access, a move that would seemingly privilege highly capitalized national and international corporations over in-state providers of the same product.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


34 comments

  • Tom

    September 8, 2022 at 10:58 am

    It’s time to remove this being from office.
    Impeach her ASAP, Enough.
    Good riddance.

    • Impeach Biden

      September 8, 2022 at 11:07 am

      She deserves no press at all. Pack up the office Nikki, your time is almost up. On behalf of most of the residents here in Florida, good riddance.

      • Brandon

        September 8, 2022 at 5:00 pm

        What it must be like to go through life with no brain… you guys are the king turds of S mountain

    • Victor

      September 9, 2022 at 6:06 am

      How would you impeach someone whose term is up in a few weeks?

    • James Madison

      September 11, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      I thought you all were “my body my choice” when it came to therapeutics. I see that only applies to a vaccine you all politicized. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  • Charlie Crist

    September 8, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Nikki Fried!!! Picks Ron up and body slams him into the sewer. Golden shower for the rest of the deplorable Florida rednecks, fascists, and terrorists. Vote for me to end the GQP grift here in Florida. The hogs must be butchered.

    • Impeach Biden

      September 8, 2022 at 11:43 am

      Charlie, next time you gas up try and peel off one of those Nikki Fried stickers from the gas pump. She’s gone and so is her wicked legacy.

      • Charlie is Jesus

        September 8, 2022 at 12:10 pm

        Donald Trump psycho legacy will end with indictments. You people have no room to talk. Big jokes…

  • Michael

    September 8, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Just plain WRONG He not a doctor and now he plays doctor with my medication.. I now believe I will go back to buying on the street where NO one make decisions on my care .. DeSantos I hope to God you lose everything your governor ship and no presidency

  • PeterH

    September 8, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Nikki …. It’s called FREEDUMB….. you still haven’t caught on to this administration’s hypocrisy.

  • Yep

    September 8, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Scaredy cat Ron doesn’t want to debate Crist except for once real close to the election.
    He doesn’t want to defend his terrible record.
    Real tough guy. Scared to debate. This is the best the R party can do? Him or the former crook in chief?

    • Impeach Biden

      September 8, 2022 at 11:41 am

      Terrible record? Open Florida has thrived. You want what the Governor’s did in Kalifornia, Illinois, New York? They are all leaving those liberal enclaves and most are coming here.

      • Elliott Offen

        September 8, 2022 at 12:11 pm

        Yeah sad people have to come from other states to make Florida anything but Mississippi with a beach. Good point dude..

      • Victor

        September 9, 2022 at 5:49 am

        DeSantis record is an abomination of tyranny masqerating as leadership. Supporting open business policy while prohibiting those he doesn’t approve of, regardless what the people want. Forcing costly amendments to require what DeSantis and legislature refuse to allow. Then opposing and limiting required changes however possiblle.

      • Somebody with a brain and self-respect

        September 10, 2022 at 7:06 am

        Bull bull bull bull bull fucking shit. DeSantis has been running roughshod over florida for too long. We are sick and tired of him constantly trampling our rights and freedoms with nothing to defend himself besides a shit-eating smirk.

      • James Madison

        September 11, 2022 at 12:51 pm

        No you are wrong. First off, DuhSantis did close Florida in April of 2020. Schools, bars, restaurants etc. To say he didn’t is bald faced lie. Second, Florida didn’t thrive. What DuhSantis did was steal the Federal pandemic funds earmarked for struggling Floridians and reallocated it to the general fund for his own agenda and so he could claim Florida had a surplus. Third, your claim and DuhSantis that people are leaving there and moving to Florida is another lie. People move to Florida to die. Florida gained 211k new residents last year according to the census. Less than 1% of the population and about the same for the last 2 decades. What DuhSantis doesn’t tell you is 255k Florida residents DIED in the same period for a net negative. Keep gulping that Kool Aid.

  • Mike Budd

    September 8, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    Nikki Fried is absolutely right. DeSantis and Republican allies are building a patronage system and donor list from those to whom they give cannabis licenses. And they don’t care about the health benefits of cannabis, only about its profit potential for them and their allies. Lots of ordinary Floridians can’t afford the medical cannabis made so expensive by Republicans, so they have to buy illegally the inferior pot on the street, thus feeding the prison industrial complex.

  • Tom

    September 8, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Impeach the wench.
    This is not about #45 you morons.
    You cannabis lovers ignore all the health concerns that have been released.
    Regardless, has the right to set the standard.

    • Fat Cammack

      September 8, 2022 at 1:48 pm

      Vote for me babydoll. I’ll plop my greasy gargantuan azz right down on you. Teach you what the GOP is really cooking with. Crisco babydoll… straight lard. Send me money!!

      • Impeach Biden

        September 8, 2022 at 2:16 pm

        I am truly amazed this site lets you get away with that. Maybe you are the moderator, that’s why.

        • Tom

          September 8, 2022 at 2:41 pm

          Yes impeach.

          Despicable scum comes to mind of Joey and all his fake, cheap and trashy monikers. Just a pennies worth of intelligence.

          You have to wonder how peter s allows this. Unless it’s purposefully been applied. Once again FP sides with the extremism.

    • Brandon

      September 8, 2022 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks for speaking up Tom… always nice to know where the idiot in the room is.

      • Tom

        September 8, 2022 at 6:52 pm

        Brandon u can Kiss my ass, we are not in a communist country, but we do have a Stalinist party. You are the chairman!

        Nikki Fraud is trailer park. She got her ass kicked by a Chameleon loser.
        LMAO, facts are funny things for ass wipes! Enjoy, wipe hard!

    • James Madison

      September 11, 2022 at 12:53 pm

      I thought you all were about “my body my choice?” You all cried about the vaccine but then do this. Hypocrite.

  • marylou

    September 8, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Dr Deathsantis is butting in between real doctors and patients again. He started by controlling women’s healthcare and lives, and now he’s including men with health conditions.

    You think he’ll stop before he gets to you? Within three years they’ll probably be able to convince enough Florida legislators that blood, bone marrow, and living organ donations must be mandatory to save lives —- Dobbs made that possible! What do you think is going to happen when a billionaire donor’s kid needs a new kidney?

    He wants to control every minute aspect of Floridians’ lives.

    • Tom

      September 8, 2022 at 6:54 pm

      It’s really unfortunate mommy didn’t abort you Mary who!

      • astounded

        September 9, 2022 at 11:01 am

        what the fuck is wrong with u to even say that outloud holy shit

    • Tom

      September 10, 2022 at 10:23 am

      Oh boy did mommy fail us all with you! Wack job.

    • Oldtimer

      September 21, 2022 at 12:20 pm

      Interestingly, Austria has a opt-out Organ Donation program. Don’t know if that means you have to be opt-in’d to receive an organ…or only have to be citizen, or Foreign Billionaire. A lot of perfectly good life-saving American organs go to waste, so maybe a rethink is needed.

  • astounded

    September 9, 2022 at 11:00 am

    im readign this article and then on to the comments whats wrong these people . i mean here she is defending the patients rights against a tyranical gvnr and you all attack her ? i mean wtf no kidding what is wrong with you people?

    • Tom

      September 9, 2022 at 9:50 pm

      Abort Mary who and Nikki Fraud, the wench. She can take her trailer ass to Tuscaloosa! U can join her too you fake moniker, coward!
      WTF is wrong with u.

    • Tom

      September 10, 2022 at 10:21 am

      Yeah astounded, you “readign” how ignorant are you? Reading”.

      Go to Tuscaloosa with nikki fraud!
      Pathetic.

  • Fuck both sides

    September 10, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    If you dont like Florida get the fuck out. Most have moved here to complain because you couldnt afford to live anywhere else. I live in northwest florida. We can get together and debate if youd like. Both sides need to just stfu. Sick of all politicians.

  • EA

    September 11, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    I know that we Republicans are wanting to eradicate laziness is the population. have you considered getting together and shooting some of these lazy ass losers that smoke cannabis all day and don’t work. Also, think about the fact that we shouldn’t support weakness we should allow all the weak to die or encourage them to die because it is their duty to die.

    If you don’t work you don’t eat if you’re a burden you don’t deserve to live come on DeSantis supporters let’s get together or else you are the lazy ones. unless DeSantis wants the marijuana taking losers to die slow which I know that it’s something that he thinks that they deserve, because his wife got better from her titty cancer because she’s a good person. If you have inoperable cancer you’re a bad person let’s get together and shoot these individuals according to Ronda Santis and the Republican policies. Don’t be fake and don’t say that killing people is wrong because obviously killing people is the right thing to do to stop these losers from being a burden on our tax system. The only caveat is if you don’t load your weapon yourself stop bitching.

Comments are closed.


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