Legislative Update June 2, 2017
Posted on June 05, 2017 by Jeffrey FeilerThe Legislative session ended on May 7, 2017 without the Florida House and Senate reaching agreement on a Medical Marijuana Bill. As your Miami medical marijuana lawyer, I'd like to keep you informed on the pending legislation and what it all means.
Both unreconciled proposed final Bills called for a "vertical" system of MMTC Registrations ("Licenses"). In other words, only multi-million dollar Companies capable of growing, processing and dispensing could get licenses and not individuals such as seeking only a dispensary store or a growing license. Today, the Governor filed a Proclamation creating a Special Session running from June 7-9, 2017, however, he failed to include the Marijuana Bill for consideration. As a practical matter, the Bill is not up for reconsideration because the House and Senate have not yet reached a behind the scenes agreement. It is reasonable to expect that they will reach a deal and place it on the agenda during the Special Session. So, we may very well see a Bill emerge.
This means that Rulemaking may fall to the Department of Health (DOH). If DOH follows the express intent of Constitutional Amendment 2 they should create MMTC Licenses for individuals, however, in their proposed Rulemaking they completely ignore the Constitution and proposed to keep the existing seven (now nine) Dispensing Organizations and not add new Licenses of any kind. DOH was met with harsh criticism in their "workshops" about not following the Constitution. At this point, unless a Statute emerges, DOH will next Notice a proposed Rule. Fifteen days following the Notice there will be three days of Public commentary. Thereafter, DOH can adopt a final rule. Interestingly, DOH actually has chosen to disregard the entire Section 120 Administrative Code and travel under their authority pursuant to the Constitution. This means any attack could go directly to the Circuit Court rather than through Administrative proceedings.
I will keep you posted as the Session moves forward next week if any Marijuana Bill appears on the Agenda. Contact Feiler Marijuana Law at (786) 574-6699 for more information.