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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watch the video HERE
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.
There are more than 80,000 licensed doctors in Florida, but just over 2,000 are currently qualified to prescribe medical marijuana to patients.
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Returning from Iraq after the deadliest year for U.S. soldiers in the war, a local veteran said his life was completely different.
"I was just kind of like, I felt like a shell of a person," said the soldier who wanted to go by Jake.
Jake said he was on prescribed medications that numbed him. He started looking into alternatives like medical marijuana.
"I was a little hesitant because of the stigma attached to it from working in the military all my adult life. It was something kind of frowned upon," Jake said.
But he found a doctor who helped guide him. Now, Jake is on a CBD and THC mix.
"I take a pill at night time and I sleep like a baby," said Jake.
But not all patients can find the right doctor or right medication combination so quickly. There are more than 100,000 active medical marijuana holders in the state but only 2,212 doctors qualified to prescribe medical marijuana, according to Florida's Office of Medical Marijuana Use.