Medical marijuana advocates in Orlando call for special session to end legal uncertainty

Medical marijuana advocates in Orlando call for special session to end legal uncertainty

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Medical marijuana advocates and local lawmakers gathered in Orlando on Thursday to call for a special session in the Florida Legislature after leaders failed to create a framework for new cannabis laws. State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, says Tallahassee politicians have thwarted the will of the 71 percent of voters who approved Amendment 2 last fall by refusing to implement it. "They should be ashamed," he says. "While the out-of touch, old-fashioned, conservative majority in Tallahassee continues their hand-wringing over whether or not cannabis is actual medicine… qualified patients are dying Qualified patients are waiting." Carlos Guillermo Smith The Republican-controlled House and Senate had a tentative deal that fell apart after leaders were unable to agree on how many dispensaries each medical marijuana growers would be allowed to have. The Senate wanted a cap of up to 15 dispensaries per grower, while the House called for 100. Against the recommendations of many patients and advocates, both chambers did agree to prohibit smoking cannabis products, though this does not apply to patients who consume the cannabis by using vaporizers. The session ended with a lot of finger-pointing and no framework to implement the medical marijuana legalized by the amendment. House Speaker Richard Corcoran has called for a special session to pass marijuana legislation, and Senate President Joe Negron has said he’s considering it. If lawmakers don’t come back for a special session, the Florida Department of Health will be in charge of rolling out medical marijuana, and so far, some advocates have been less than pleased with past recommendations from health officials. Medical cannabis advocates who gathered in Orlando on Monday were less concerned with who would create the legal framework as much as what it would contain. They want to end the 90-day waiting period for patients to […]

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