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Letter From A Supporter - Marco Island

Coastal Breeze News

Susan Leslie

https://www.coastalbreezenews.com/articles/medical-marijuana-dispensary/

 

Many thanks to the Marco Island (MI) councilors who voted in favor of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary on Marco Island. Their support allows any and all of us to have a “choice” of treatment for life threatening and unseen illnesses which are experienced by many, readily available in our neighborhood.

Having a “mature” population, the residents of MI should be able to secure the medications they need without having to travel 15 or more miles or rely on delivery of the medications.

There is no stigma associated with going to a pharmacy for a prescription or purchasing alcohol. There should not be a stigma associated with the use of medical marijuana, especially when legally prescribed and legally sold. I would like to have a choice between medications that have no side effects and are not addictive versus those that have many side effects and can be addictive.

The State of Florida and Collier County have legalized the sale of medical marijuana. Our City Council, specifically Jared Grifoni, Victor Rios, Sam Young, Charlette Roman and Larry Honig, has now given their stamp of approval. I thank all of you for your support.

 

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Marco

Marco Island City Council greenlights medical marijuana dispensaries

The Marco Island City Council voted Monday in favor of a resolution that provides regulations for medical marijuana dispensing facilities on the island.

The resolution passed 5-2, despite the nay votes of Chairperson Erik Brechnitz and councilor Howard Reed.

The approved resolution reaffirms medical marijuana dispensing facilities are allowed within Marco Island subject to the same regulations as pharmacies and restrictions provided in the Florida Statutes.

On June 3, the City Council voted in favor of a motion to instruct the city attorney to draft the resolution. That motion passed 5-2 with the opposition of Brechnitz and Reed.

Michelle Sullivan, a Marco Island resident, said from her wheelchair that medical marijuana dispensaries close to home is a critical need for people like her. She suffers from multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and Chohn's disease, among other painful illnesses. 

"I think [...] people don't understand [...] this is to make people like me not to be in so much pain," Sullivan said. Sullivan, at times, had to momentarily stop talking because of her physical pain.

Sullivan was the first speaker of the medical marijuana agenda item. It had been almost two hours since the City Council meeting had started when she was allowed to tell her story.

Robert Popoff, a former Marco Island city councilor, said Tuesday in a phone call he appreciated City Council for trying to move the marijuana item earlier in the agenda but said more could have been done to accommodate patients like Sullivan.

"Having previously been a chairman of that council, they could have made special arrangements for these people," Popoff said.

Kerry (Grganto) Wallace, a Marco Island resident, said she needs a medical marijuana treatment center close to home and that her current medical illnesses may be the result of the side effects of conventional medicines.

"If I (have) had access to medical marijuana before I took that prescription, I would not be attached to a machine that feeds me through my stomach right now," Wallace said while connected to a machine that feeds her liquids.

Doctor James J. Faremouth, a physician and Marco Island resident, said opioids kill people and are not suitable for long-term pain management.

"I have come to realize that treating patients with compassionate medical marijuana treatment centers readily available to them would be the most beneficial," Faremouth said.

Marco Islanders who spoke against having medical marijuana dispensaries in the island said they were concerned about an increase in car accidents, local traffic and that the dispensaries would not be economically viable.

The legalization of recreational marijuana, not medical marijuana, has been tied to an increase in car accidents, according to two studies. Allegations that medical marijuana treatment centers would considerably worsen local traffic or that they would not be economically viable remain to be proven.

Councilor Sam Young, after listening to Marco Islanders, made an important and personal announcement.

"I got my card last week," Young said followed by applause from the crowd. Young was referring to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card patients and caregivers must acquire before legally possessing medical marijuana in the state of Florida.

Young said he wants to rely less on opioids to manage his back pain.

As for Sullivan, she will continue to rely on the medical marijuana dispensaries of Bonita Springs, a town 45-minutes away from her home, until the first treatment center establishes in Marco Island.

How Floridians can legally acquire medical marijuana

  1. A qualified physician diagnoses a patient with a qualifying medical condition.If the patient is younger than 18 or terminal, a second physician must concur.
  2. The physician enters the patient's information and order into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. Caregivers must also be added to the registry.
  3. The patient and any caregivers must then apply for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card.
  4. Qualified patients may fill the physician's order at any Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC).

Source: Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), Know the Facts.

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Commissioner Fried Hosts First Hemp Rulemaking Workshop in South Florida

Fresh From Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Pembroke Pines, Fla. — Today, Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried joined key Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services officials to host the first public hemp rulemaking workshop at Broward College in Pembroke Pines.

"The upcoming state hemp program marks a new industrial revolution — after eighty years of stalled progress, we can finally put hemp to work for farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers here in Florida," said Commissioner Nikki Fried."Our Department is working swiftly to ensure the program's rules will be inclusive for everyone who wants to be involved with Florida hemp. Today's public participation, questions, and feedback are a critical part of making Florida a national leader in hemp."

Click Here For The Full Story

 

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Florida Agriculture Department Readies Rules For State Hemp Program

Shawn Mulcahy, WFSU Public Media

The Florida Agriculture Department has released its first draft of proposed rules for a state hemp program. This comes ahead of hemp rulemaking workshops beginning later this week.

The draft lays out testing and purity standards for growers and packaging and labeling requirements for food containing hemp or its extract, CBD. Hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, the high-inducing ingredient found in marijuana. 

Read The Full Story Here!

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Florida Board of Medicine signs off on smokeable medical marijuana changes

Posted By

While some members expressed concern about patients smoking medical marijuana, the Florida Board of Medicine has approved forms for doctors to use in ordering smokable pot.

The board Friday agreed to change its medical-marijuana rules so that physicians can certify that the benefits of smoking marijuana for medical use outweigh the risks. It also agreed to change mandatory informed-consent forms that physicians and patients must fill out together.

Read the full article HERE

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Nikki Fried names doctors, lawyers, patients to new Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee

Florida Politics
By

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has released the names on her newly created Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, which will “help improve the state’s medical marijuana policies,” she said in a statement.

“I’m proud to establish the advisory committee to help expand patient access and to advance and modernize policies to move Florida into the future of medical marijuana,” Fried said. Some names had leaked out recently on social media.

Her new Cannabis Director, Holly Bell, will be in charge of overseeing the committee’s work.

“This is a plant that not only improves people’s quality of life, it’s an alternative to sometimes-dangerous pharmaceuticals and addictive opioids,” said Fried, a former medical marijuana lobbyist. “It’s a medicine that an overwhelming majority of Floridians came together for, calling for constitutionally guaranteed access.”

The new 18-member committee “will convene telephonically and in-person bimonthly to work through ways to expand patient access, increase innovation and technology in the industry, and make recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use to improve Florida’s medical marijuana policies and programs,” the commissioner added.

Click HERE to read the full article and see the list of all board members 

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Florida Congressman Crist’s Proposal for Veterans Using Medical Marijuana Included in Funding Bill

By News Talk Florida
By KEVIN DERBY

From his seat on the U.S. House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., helped amend a funding bill to aid veterans who are using medical marijuana and to boost legal marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

Back in March, Crist unveiled the “Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act,” a proposal to “remove limitations on federal employment for an individual legally using marijuana under the law of the state in which the individual resides, and for other purposes.”  Republican U.S. Reps. Don Young of Alaska and Matt Gaetz of Florida were among the first nine cosponsors. 

The Pinellas County Democrat’s office insisted the bill will “protect veterans’ cannabis treatment options and their ability to be employed by the federal government and noted, under current law, “use of marijuana by federal employees is prohibited by law and any use is cause for termination.”

Crist stressed that his proposal would help veterans.  

Click HERE for the full article 

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Court again rejects Redner pot arguments

An appeals court refused Tuesday to reconsider its decision rejecting arguments that prominent Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner should be able to grow his own medical marijuana to help fight lung cancer.

The 1st District Court of Appeal issued a one-page order turning down Redner’s request for a rehearing or for the full appeals court to take up the case.

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TSA allows flyers to travel with drug derived from marijuana

The Transportation Security Administration has changed its cannabis policy to allow passengers to travel with some forms of CBD oil and a drug derived from marijuana that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

All forms of marijuana were previously prohibited in carry-on bags and checked luggage. On Sunday, TSA updated its "What Can I bring?" guidance under medical marijuana. The FDA in June legalized a drug called Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy in children. The TSA said in a statement that it was recently made aware of the drug and updated the regulations to avoid confusion on whether families can bring it when traveling.

The new policy also includes some CBD oil, "as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law" under the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and hemp derivatives. Hemp-derived CBD is low in or has no THC, the chemical that produces a high found in marijuana.

The TSA's new rules still ban other forms of marijuana, including CBD oils that have THC, and cannabis-infused products that are still illegal under federal law.

It's not clear how agents will determine the difference. But while agents screen for potential threats to planes and passengers, they do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. If they come across anything suspect, they refer it to law enforcement.

 

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Medical Marijuana industry adds thousands of jobs in Florida

According to Forbes, the Marijuana industry added 64,000 jobs last year and is expected to create another 20,000 this year in just California and Florida.

In 2018, Florida added more than 9,000 Cannabis related jobs the most of any state.

This is accredited to the jump in medical Marijuana patients in our state, which increased by 100,000 people in just one year.

Read the full article HERE

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Florida for Care was founded in 2014 to advocate for the implementation of a strong, well-regulated, Florida medical marijuana system under Amendment 2.

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         Miami Beach, FL 33141
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