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Jeff Brandes files bill to scrap, replace state medical marijuana law

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Sen. Jeff Brandes filed new medical marijuana legislation Monday, saying he hopes to implement a “free-market regulatory approach” to legalized medical cannabis.

“This legislation recognizes the growing support in Florida for the medicinal use of marijuana as an additional option for physicians in the treatment of their patients,” said Brandes in a prepared statement.

“We build on the best practices of the 23 other states that have legalized medical marijuana. The bill creates a responsible regulatory framework, offers patients with debilitating conditions access to this course of treatment, and it focuses funding on valuable medical research,” Brandes said.

Brandes’ bill – Senate Bill 582 – repeals the narrow 2014 Compassionate Use Act and replaces it with broader, more expansive uses allowed for Florida patients seeking medical marijuana.

Current law provides for low-THC marijuana-derived products primarily for minors who suffer severe seizures and terminal illnesses.

The legislation, Brandes’ office said in a news release, allows a patient with either a specified medical condition or a specified symptom to use medical marijuana “as recommended by their physician.

The bill provides for cultivation, processing, and retail facilities licensing and scraps the existing Charlotte’s Web licensing provisions.

Under the bill all state tax revenues raised from the sale of medical marijuana are designated for medical research focused on the use of marijuana by patients.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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