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

Florida Politics
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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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Cannabis director expects first Florida hemp crop in 2020

By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service

Business leaders and entrepreneurs in the state’s capital city got an update on the roll out of a hemp industry from the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Director of Cannabis Holly Bell. Bell is optimistic a program will be in place by the end of the year.

Florida farmers, investors and entrepreneurs all have their eyes on hemp.

“It's safer and it's extremely durable, too, if you were to talk about clothing, infrastructure and building,” said Braden Ward, a senior at Florida Southern College.

Ward drove three hours to hear from Bell on how the hemp industry will look in Florida.

“What's upcoming in the future for us to try and invest in, if that be the case,” said Ward.

The hemp bill passed in May will officially legalize hemp and its byproducts, like CBD, in Florida. It’s expected to be a multi-billion dollar industry.

“Industrial hemp has 25,000 known uses today,” said Bell.

In addition to the numerous uses, supporters also hope hemp will become a supplemental crop for Panhandle farmers hit hard by Hurricane Michael.

Read the full article HERE

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Study finds CBD effective in treating heroin addiction

By Nadia Kounang, CNN

Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive ingredient in hemp and marijuana, could treat opioid addiction, a new study says. Given to patients with heroin addiction, cannabidiol, also known as CBD, reduced their cravings for the illicit drug as well as their levels of anxiety.

"The intense craving is what drives the drug use," said Yasmin Hurd, the lead researcher on the study and director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai. "If we can have the medications that can dampen that [craving], that can greatly reduce the chance of relapse and overdose risk."
The available medications for opioid addiction, such as buprenorphine and methadone, act in a similar way, curbing cravings. But they are still not widely used. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, just one-third of US patients with opioid dependence in private treatment centers actually receive these kinds of medications. According to the 2016 surgeon general's report on addiction, only 1 in 5 people who needed treatment for opioid use disorders was receiving any sort of therapy.
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Goodell on the possibility of medical marijuana use in the NFL

Watch the video HERE

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Deerfield Beach Dispensary Ban TODAY 5/21

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Florida not among states asking feds to let banks work with marijuana businesses

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Attorneys general across the United States have joined together in urging lawmakers to pass banking reform legislation that would allow the banking industry to work with businesses in the legal marijuana industry.

Last week, attorneys general in 30 states and 4 U.S. territories sent a letter to Congress asking them to pass the SAFE Banking Act, or something similar, to protect banks that work with marijuana businesses. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody was not among those who signed the letter.

Read the full article HERE

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