Medical marijuana bill clears Florida Senate

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The Florida Senate today passed Senate Bill 1030, allowing the compassionate use of low-THC grade cannabis for Floridians suffering with severe neurological conditions.

The Republican-led legislation was sponsored by Senator Rob Bradley and co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes and Bean. The legislation provides a framework for the production and distribution of non-smokable strains of cannabis with high concentrations of CBD, the medicinal component of cannabis, and low levels of THC, the psychoactive component.

“Low-THC cannabis has the ability to change the lives of Florida children who suffer everyday with several neurological conditions like epilepsy,” said Senate President Don Gaetz. “Currently, families are being forced to move to other states or face legal jeopardy in order to get treatment for their children. Senate Bill 1030 removes the legal jeopardy associated with the use of this non-euphoric strain of cannabis, so those individuals who face daily seizures can find relief within our state.”

SB 1030 creates a pathway toward legal use of substances similar to “Charlotte’s Web,” which is processed into an oil extract and administered by placing a droplet under the tongue, avoiding the harmful side effects of smoking marijuana. The hybrid strain offers the therapeutic benefits of CBD without getting patients “high.” Charlotte’s Web has been reported to provide relief from serious illnesses, including for children suffering from daily seizures associated with epilepsy.

“Senate Bill 1030 creates a pathway toward the legal, compassionate use of low-THC cannabis such as Charlottes Web,” said Sen. Bradley. “I am proud to stand with the Senate today to offer hope to the many families whose lives are impacted every day by serious illness.”

“Charlotte’s Web is different from what the public typically associates with marijuana,” said Senator Bean. “Its non-smokable, non-euphoric, and most importantly provides relief to children suffering from debilitating seizures on a daily basis.”

“This bill is a starting point of a conversation about how Florida should adjust our laws to reflect new advancements in treatment,” said Sen. Brandes. “Physicians should have all the tools at their disposal to improve the lives of those suffering from severe conditions like epilepsy.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.