Medical Marijuana Legislative Update, April 2017
Posted on April 13, 2017 by Jeffrey FeilerThe Florida Legislature started session on March 7th, 2017, and will conclude on May 7th, 2017. Six Senators and one Representative have proposed Legislation to implement Constitutional Amendment 2, which passed in November 2016 with 71.3% voter approval.
Working on a Deadline
Amendment 2 requires the Department of Health to promulgate Rules and Regulations by July 3, 2017 and issue Registrations by October 3, 2017. If the Legislature fails to act, DOH must make constitutionally compliant rules to implement Amendment 2. As your Miami medical marijuana attorney, I would like to help you understand what is going on from a political standpoint and help you learn what the current environment is like as Amendment 2 is implemented in Florida.
Will Senators Respect the Terms of the Amendment?
It seems only Senator Jeff Brandes respects the terms of Amendment 2, namely a horizontal system of Licenses for Cultivation, Processing, Transporting, and Dispensing. Also, he agrees with leaving what is best for patients in the discretion of doctors.
Senator Galvano Calls for Research
One Bill, a Bill by Senator Galvano, is specifically calling for seriously needed research. However, he proposes a particular facility to take care of that research. That facility is no doubt a special interest for Senator Galvano, as opposed to Florida's University Medical facilities.
The Politics Behind a Well-Implemented Amendment 2
Senators Artilies and Grimsley are more in line with the "Seven Cartels" (the existing approved Dispensing Organizations), who are spending a fortune in campaign contributions and on high powered lobbyists for the purposes of maintaining their monopolies over the medical marijuana industry. House Majority Leader Rodriguez joins those two senators, and he is the most extreme when it comes to Amendment 2's implementation. His proposed Bill easily passed through the first of three sub-committees.
Is Compromise Possible?
In response to these developments, Senator Braynon has put forth a compromise Bill, which creates more market opportunities. It is not "free market" as it maintains the existing "vertical" system, but it calls for the creation of more new Licenses than any other Bill has thus far.
Senator Bradley is the leading Senator on the marijuana issue. His Bill is somewhere between Braynon and Artiles/Grimsely with both good and bad aspects from the point of view of new Licenses. He seems somewhat willing to compromise.
What Happens Next?
Presently, the Senate, led by Senator Bradley, is working on one unified Bill. That will then have to be reconciled with the House if there is going to be a final Bill put up for vote. There is no mandate that a law be passed.
The whole point is to get quality medication to patients who need it. However, this all depends on how well Amendment 2 will be implemented in the state. For more information on medical marijuana compliance in the state of Florida, please contact Feiler Marijuana Law at (786) 574-6699 today