PRESS RELEASE: Statement from Ben Pollara on HB 1397
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 7, 2017
Contact: Vanessa Satterfield
Statement from Ben Pollara, Executive Director of Florida for Care, on HB 1397:
"I believe Leader Rodrigues was sincere and thoughtful in his approach and authorship of this law, but I can't help but be dismayed by the House proposal. The bill begins by moving backwards in many ways critical to the letter and spirit of the constitution, and in some cases, the existing low-THC Cannabis statute.
In addition to banning smokable and edible marijuana products, HB 1397 bans the vaporization of marijuana oils, except for terminal patients. That is a further restriction than what even the current law allows.
HB 1397 also offers only a modest expansion of the marketplace for medical marijuana treatment centers and again takes a step backwards in doing so. Forget about government not being in the business of picking winners and losers, HB 1397 literally picks losers in the issuance of the first tranche of new licenses proposed in the legislation. The bill calls for the first five licenses issued to be awarded to applicants who previously applied for, but failed to win, a license under the current law.
Today is the start of session and I hope this bill is the start of a meaningful debate in the House over the merits of this approach and that as the bill moves through the process, it applies more free market principals."