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House medical marijuana implementing bill headed to the floor

in 2017 by

A House panel advanced an amended version of the lower chamber’s medical marijuana implementing bill, preparing the bill for a vote by the full House in the coming weeks. But with two weeks left until the scheduled end of the 2017 Legislative Session, the House and Senate continue to be at odds when it comes to implementing the 2016 constitutional medical marijuana amendment. While Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the sponsor of House bill (HB 1397), had hoped to present a…

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House Democrats wake up on weed

in Peter by

Perhaps they’ve been reading the rash of vitriolic emails and op-eds from Florida for Care, or the equally brutal reporting and editorializing from the Tampa Bay Times this past weekend. Maybe it was the litany of emotional public comment at Tuesday’s hearing. Whatever it was, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee – led by the always entertaining, snarky and whip-smart Jared Moskowitz – suddenly woke up on medical marijuana. It was a huge turnaround from just a few weeks ago. When…

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House Appropriations Committee clears medical marijuana bill, despite concerns from advocates

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A House panel cleared the lower chamber’s medical marijuana implementing bill, despite continued concerns from advocates who said the measure doesn’t go far enough. The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill (HB 1397) by Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues that would implement the 2016 medical marijuana constitutional amendment. The proposal now heads to the Health & Human Services Committee, the final stop before a vote of the full House. The bill, among other things, calls for a 90-day waiting period before…

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Legislature makes slow progress on medical pot rules

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Florida’s voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in November that formally legalized medical marijuana for chronic pain and other ailments, but with less than a month to go in their session, Florida legislators remain far apart on how to implement it. Bills in the Senate and House don’t agree on the details of expanding access to the drug, from adding pot distributors to deciding whether doctors can prescribe marijuana to people who haven’t been their patients for at least three…

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Jeff Brandes wants to keep renewable energy bill clean

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Senate panel approved a bill by St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes that would implement solar tax breaks approved by Florida voters in last year. More than 70 percent of Florida voters backed Amendment 4 in August, which makes it so the increased value of a home due to renewable energy improvements such as solar panels can’t be included when assessing a property’s value for tax purposes. SB 90, which is supported by environmental groups and solar panel installers, doesn’t…

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Senate amendment quickens pace for medical marijuana treatment center growth

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A Senate panel is poised to approve legislation this week that could add five more medical marijuana treatment centers in Florida by October and lower the threshold for adding additional treatment centers in the future. The Senate Health Policy Committee is scheduled to discuss and vote on a bill (SB 406), sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, that would implement the 2016 medical marijuana constitutional amendment. The Orange Park Republican has filed eight amendments to his bill, incorporating aspects of several…

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Dana Young, environmentalists still holds hope for fracking ban in 2017

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

House members now say the possibility of a fracking ban is dead for the 2017 Legislative Session. Sen. Dana Young thinks it’s premature to administer last rites, at least just yet. “You never say never, but now we’re saying it looks like that will be next year,”  Rep. Mike Miller, an Orlando Republican, told the Naples Daily News about his bill (HB 451) as the first month of Session ended this week. The reason for the impasse is the desire by some…

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