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Health Department getting started on medical marijuana rulemaking

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In the wake of the Special Session’s implementing bill, the Florida Department of Health is gearing up to make rules governing the use of medical marijuana. The department published a “notice of proposed regulation” in the Florida Administrative Register last Friday. But the state still could face a lawsuit from personal-injury attorney John Morgan, who backed the constitutional amendment on medical marijuana that passed in 2016 with 71 percent of the vote. He has said he will sue because lawmakers would not allow…

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Andrew Gillum takes a swipe at Rick Scott’s ‘victory tour’

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, is slamming Gov. Rick Scott‘s and House Speaker Richard Corcoran‘s “victory tour.” Saying he’s standing up for public schools, Gillum released a statement Tuesday in the wake of Scott’s announcement of a five-city “Fighting for Florida’s Future Victory” tour to “celebrate the major wins for Florida families and students during last week’s legislative Special Session.” Corcoran plans to join him on some of the stops, set for Miami, West Palm Beach,…

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Lawmakers finally pass medical marijuana implementation bill

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After a false start during the regular Legislative Session, lawmakers Friday passed a medical marijuana implementation bill on the last day of the Special Session, sending it to Gov. Rick Scott. The wide-ranging legislation (SB 8-A) will give guidance to state regulators as they put the state’s constitutional amendment medical marijuana into effect. Gov. Rick Scott said later on Friday he will sign the bill into law. According to the bill analysis’ summary, the measure among other things: — Grandfathers in seven existing…

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House beats back effort to allow smoking of medical marijuana

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Evan Jenne

A change to the Special Session’s medical marijuana legislation that would have allowed patients to smoke it was handily defeated Thursday. The amendment offered by Rep. Evan Jenne, a Dania Beach Democrat, was killed on the House floor by a vote of 37-71. “If a doctor and a patient determine that (smoking) is the best way to alleviate pain, or whatever it might be, then that should be left up to them,” he told reporters after the House’s daily session. “In any…

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Whodunit? or, How did citrus get into Special Session medical marijuana bill?

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Everyone loves a mystery, so how did a provision to help concerns with underused or shuttered citrus factories get into this year’s medical marijuana legislation? Language in both bills (SB 8-A, HB 5A) would give preferential treatment for up to two growing licenses to applicants who can show “they own one or more facilities that are, or were, used for the canning, concentrating, or otherwise processing of citrus fruit or citrus molasses, and will use or convert the facility or facilities for the…

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Jeff Brandes files amendment to medical marijuana in Senate

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Sen. Jeff Brandes is proposing a sweeping change to his chamber’s medical marijuana implementation bill that would, among other things, remove a limit on the number of licenses for medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs). The St. Petersburg Republican filed the 63-page strike all amendment late Wednesday. His “Putting Florida Patients First Act” also removes a requirement that marijuana growers and sellers be “vertically integrated,” or share ownership. The amendment will be formally offered on the Senate floor Thursday, an assistant said. It would be the first…

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Are vaping and smoking the same? Ray Rodrigues won’t say

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As the medical marijuana implementation bill winds its way through the Special Session, some lawmakers still are grappling with whether smoking medicinal cannabis is the same as ‘vaping’ it. Before the Health and Human Services Committee approved the House bill (HB 5A) on Wednesday night, members asked bill sponsor Ray Rodrigues, the House Republican Leader from Estero. “Are we allowing smoking?” asked Rep. Thad Altman, an Indialantic Republican. Nope, said Rodrigues, just vaping—short for vaporizing. Earlier Wednesday, John Morgan—attorney, entrepreneur and main backer of…

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