On Monday April 3, a Florida Senate Committee unanimously approved a bill that proposes a plan for the state’s emerging medical marijuana industry. The bill includes elements from numerous other competing Senate bills and seeks to expand currently proposed regulations.
Senate Bill 406, introduced by Senator Rob Bradley, proposes to immediately increase the number of available medical marijuana business licenses from seven to twelve, plus four more for every 75,000 enrolled patients in the future. It would also give physicians discretion to increase patient medicine supply from 45 to 90 days and would create a medical marijuana research group. Additionally, out-of-state, qualifying patients would be allowed to obtain medical marijuana while in Florida, which is promising news, considering the large number of tourists that visit the state each year and who live in the state in the winter months.
The bill likely passed the Committee as a result of a few compromises. While vaping and edibles would be allowed, smoking is still prohibited; minors would be barred from purchasing medical marijuana, even as qualifying patients; and dispensaries must still be vertically integrated.
With this bill, it seems that Floridians’ wishes are being taken into account. Of the five Senate bills, SB406 is more closely aligned with the spirit of November’s Amendment 2. And while the bill still has a way to go before it lands on Governor Rick Scott’s desk, we are feeling confident that things are moving in the right direction.