FLORIDA (WWSB) - Florida legislators are ready to vote on measures that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana, ahead of a mid-March deadline set by Governor Ron DeSantis.
The House and Senate moved closer to a consensus measure, after the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday stripped a provision from the bill that would have limited medical marijuana dispensaries to only selling pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes with filters.
Two sticking points that remain between the chambers’ plans are whether dispensaries should be limited to selling pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes and whether smoking cannabis should be limited to adults.
Under the proposal adopted by the House committee Thursday, patients could only buy pre-rolled, filterless marijuana cigarettes from dispensaries. The Senate plan would allow patients to purchase any kind of whole-flower marijuana products from dispensaries and let patients buy equipment from other retail outlets, such as smoke shops. Representative Ray Rodrigues is the bill sponsor.
“At each committee stop, I believe the two chambers have moved closer," State representative Ray Rodrigues said.
"I think by the time we put the bills on the floor, we will have them aligned.”
Shortly after he was sworn into office last month, Governor DeSantis gave lawmakers until March 15th. 10 days after the start of the 2019 legislative session to address the issue. If they don’t act, the Republican governor threatened to drop the state’s appeal of a court ruling that said the smoking ban violates a voter-approved constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana.