TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Sales of cannabis flower to medicinal patients in Florida could soon be a reality, based on a statement from Governor Ron DeSantis.
Governor DeSantis recently said he has already asked the Legislature to make regulatory changes that would allow patients to access and smoke cannabis flower. If the legislature fails to do so, DeSantis has signaled that he plans on taking further action.
“Whether they have to smoke it or not, who am I to judge that? I want people to be able to have their suffering relieved. I don’t think this law is up to snuff,” Governor DeSantis said at a press conference.
Currently, only products such as topicals, oils, and tinctures are available to patients. Last year, Florida attorney John Morgan sued Florida over the state’s decision to prohibit cannabis flower sales. Morgan is known for his efforts in helping Amendment 2 pass, the ballot initiative that legalized medicinal cannabis in Florida. Although Morgan won in court, former Governor Rick Scott appealed the decision and flower sales remained illegal until the appeal is sorted out. Governor DeSantis has said that he does not intend to continue Scott’s appeal.
Many medical professionals feel that Florida regulators are overstepping their boundaries and are violating the initial intention of the voter-passed Amendment 2.
“We’re encouraged by any development that emphasizes the medical merits of cannabis, and moves the conversation from the courtroom to the doctor’s office,” Jessica Walters, Director of Marketing at CannaMD, a statewide network of physicians certified to issue medical cannabis recommendations to qualified patients told mg.
“As physicians, we believe that patients deserve access to treatment delivery methods that are most appropriate for their medical condition,” Walters continued. “We strongly agree with Governor DeSantis’s interpretation that medical decisions should be left in the hands of doctors, and look forward to applying evidence-based recommendations for this new modality in the near future.”
Legalizing flower will have a direct impact on dispensaries and producers in Florida. It will expand the potential inventory of shops and allow new products to be offered to patients.
“I believe that flower has a place in this market,” Jose Hidalgo, Founder & CEO of Knox Medical said. Knox operates 10 dispensaries throughout Florida. “We remain committed to expanding safe access and supporting our patients and their caregivers. As the State’s position on smokable cannabis evolves, Knox Medical is prepared to adapt to new rules and regulations once adopted.”
Currently, 33 states have legalized the use of medicinal cannabis while 10 have approved recreational use. John Morgan has announced his intention to get the issue of recreational use on the ballot for voters in 2020.