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Florida’s Proposed Medical Marijuana Regulations

Florida’s Amendment 2, allowing marijuana use for certain medical purposes, passed on November 8th, 2016. While the law became effective on January 3rd, 2017, marijuana for medical use remains prohibited until the Department of Health (DOH) creates regulations. Under the statute, DOH has until July 3rd to finalize medical marijuana regulations. Last week, DOH released their proposed regulations for the use of medical marijuana and is quickly working through the rule-making process.

While much of the proposed medical marijuana regulations embody the laws under the Compassionate Use of Low-THC and Medical Cannabis statute (381.986, F.S.), the proposed medical marijuana regulations enumerate additional qualifying conditions not enumerated in the statute. Under the proposed regulations for medical marijuana, qualifying medical conditions include:

  • cancer;
  • physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures;
  • severe and persistent muscle spasms;
  • glaucoma;
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS);
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS);
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Multiple Sclerosis; or
  • any debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, as determined by the Florida Board of Medicine.

Warning to Physicians Considering Medical Marijuana Certification
While medical marijuana is a new and interesting practice, medical providers must remember that marijuana is a schedule I drug which the Federal government prohibits prescribing. In recent years, the DEA has denied several petitions to reschedule marijuana and there is no indication that rescheduling will be initiated anytime soon. While the Federal government has suggested that they will leave enforcement of small amounts of marijuana to state law enforcement and prosecutors, this position may change under the Trump administration. Physicians must also be aware that obtaining certification and ordering medical marijuana subjects them to additional certification, regulations, inspection of medical records, and oversight.

Medical Marijuana Rulemaking Workshop

The Department of Health will be hosting five (5) rulemaking workshops. Individuals are welcome to attend and make comments. Chapman law Group will be in attendance and will report on the progress of these regulations.

February 6, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Duval County Health Department
900 University Blvd. North
Jacksonville, FL 32211

February 7, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – noon
Broward County Health Department
780 SW 24th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

February 8, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Florida Department of Health, Tampa Branch Laboratory
3602 Spectrum Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612

February 8, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Orange County Health Department
6101 Lake Ellenor Drive
Orlando, FL 32809

February 9, 2017, 4:00 p,m, – 6:00 p.m.
Betty Easley Conference Center
4075 Esplanade Way, Room 148