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House Health Quality panel hears from former Colorado pot czar

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The former Colorado marijuana czar encouraged Florida lawmakers to invest in public education as they begin discussions about implementing Amendment 2. Andrew Freedman, the former director of marijuana coordination in Colorado, told the House Quality Subcommittee that the state should consider investing in public education, even before tax dollars derived from the medical marijuana industry starts rolling in. Freedman said his state waited until they received tax dollars, and officials were “surprised by what people didn’t know.” The state spends…

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Drug Free America urges caution as lawmakers discuss Amendment 2 implementation

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Drug Free America is urging Florida lawmakers to “proceed with caution” as they begin crafting legislation to implement the state’s newest medical marijuana law. “While we were opposed to Amendment 2 for a number of specific reasons, we recognize Florida voters have spoken,” said Calvina Fay, the executive director of Drug Free America, in a statement. “We also recognize lawmakers will soon convene and consider implementing language … that will dictate policy for generations to come. We strongly urge them to exercise extreme caution moving…

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Florida Senate to consider Amendment 2 implementation bill

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A bill filed Thursday in the Florida Senate, if passed, would expand the medical marijuana system in the Sunshine State, complying with 2016’s Amendment 2. However, some critics — inside the Senate and outside as well — have raised concerns, suggesting the bill will not have the smoothest glide path. Senate Bill 406, filed by Orange Park Republican Rob Bradley, would codify Amendment 2, establishing parameters for prescribing physicians, the treatment of minors, mandated yearly examinations for medical marijuana patients, and…

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Department of Health begins Amendment 2 rule-making

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More patients might be eligible for medical marijuana under Amendment 2, but a preliminary draft of new rules doesn’t appear to allow for immediate growth in the industry to meet demand. On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health released the preliminary text of proposed rule development. The release comes ahead of five public hearings schedule for early next month, giving Floridians a chance to weigh in on the agency’s rules and regulations governing the state’s medical marijuana program. But the…

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Ray Rodrigues: House bill won’t include tax on medical marijuana

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The Florida House will push to make medical marijuana tax exempt, according the sponsor of the yet-to-be filed bill implementing Amendment 2. While lawmakers are in the early stages of drafting an implementing bill, House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues said the House does not plan to include a tax on medical marijuana in its proposal. The Estero Republican will be sponsoring the House bill during the 2017 Legislative Session. “Obviously our goal is to honor the intent of the constitutional…

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Knox Medical to begin dispensing medical marijuana this week

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Knox Medical will soon begin dispensing medical marijuana to qualified patients. The company announced Tuesday it recently received approval from the Florida Department of Health to begin dispensing low-THC and medical cannabis this week. The company is set to begin initial deliveries to qualified patients Friday. Knox Medical is one of six organizations in the state approved to cultivate, process and dispense low-THC cannabis and medical marijuana. The Orange County organization received the highest score out of all the nurseries…

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Amendment 2 for medical marijuana sweeps the polls with a huge win

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Florida’s Amendment 2, relating to the availability of medical marijuana to patients who need it, swept the polls with a 70 to 30 split on Tuesday night’s election. The amendment proposes to make medical marijuana legal for doctors to give out prescriptions to patients who need it. Last time out, it got 58 percent of the vote, but because it required a “super majority” of 60 percent, it didn’t pass. Supporters of the amendment say it’s a sensible alternative medicine…

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