One day six years ago, Holly Bell was rummaging through her daughter’s Volkswagen when she stumbled upon an identification card. It was issued from a medical marijuana registry in Los Angeles, California. She stared at Hilary’s face on the card, fascinated but not surprised.
“I mean I grew up in an era where everybody smoked pot. It was no big deal,” Bell says.
She can laugh about it now but back then, she had a slew of questions for her daughter.
In her answers, Hilary described how medical marijuana relaxed her muscles and soothed her anxiety – both crippling symptoms of a congenital disease; she was born 10 weeks premature and with mild cerebral palsy.
Today, Hilary Bell, 28, works as a film writer in Nashville, where medical marijuana is still illegal. And Bell has recently been named the first-ever cannabis director of Florida, where the regulation and use of cannabis remains a political hot topic.
Florida Is the Nation's Fastest-Growing Medical Marijuana Market
Miami New Times, by
Despite ongoing efforts by the Florida Legislature to thwart the will of the people, Florida likely has the fastest- growing medical marijuana program in the nation.
More than 213,000 people are enrolled, with 10,000-plus signing up every month.
Florida Pheonix, by Lloyd Dunkelberger
A plan to limit medical marijuana’s potency went up in smoke as the 2019 Legislature moves to a conclusion.
Earlier this spring, lawmakers passed a bill and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law, allowing Floridians who have debilitating diseases to smoke medical marijuana. Advocates say the law carries out of the will of Florida voters who overwhelmingly approved a 2016 state constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana.
But later in the legislative session, the Florida House advanced a bill to limit the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the chemical agent that causes the high – to no more than 10 percent in whole-flower products. But the bill (HB 7117) stalled.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried opposed the legislation.
Florida could be first state to limit THC in smokable medical marijuana
A legislative proposal could make Florida the first state to regulate tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, levels in smokable medical marijuana.
Rep. Ray Rodrigues, an Estero Republican, earlier this year sponsored legislation (HB 7117) to limit the levels.
The bill was sent to the House floor but awaits a vote. The Senate has not acted on the issue.
Now, Rodrigues has filed an amendment with the 10 percent THC cap to a health care licensing bill (SB 188) already passed by the Senate. He wants the measure added before the House approves the legislation.
That bill, on the “special order” calendar, is scheduled to be heard in the House Tuesday night. That means members can ask questions about the measure and offer amendments.
The House Appropriations Committee will be taking HB 7117 up tomorrow Tuesday 4/9 at 10:30 AM for a VOTE. Last Wednesday morning over objections from many lawmakers, the Health and Human Services Committee of the Florida House approved PCB HHS 19-02 from Ray Rodrigues which became HB 7117.
This bill has a lot of VERY BAD issues mixed in with a few good things like a veteran ID card discount FFC has been fighting for and emergency rulemaking. See some of these below and read the full bill as well, but before you do that make sure you CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS below and tell them about all of the negatives in this bill for patients. They are so BAD many veterans went all the way to Tallahassee to speak against this! (Video below) These need to be amended, or they need to NOT pass this bill!! 71% of Florida did not vote for 10%! Patients are just asking that the legislature give them what 71% of Florida voted for, whole cannabis medicine! Call Your Elected Officials!
HB 7117 is Negative for Patients because it would:
-Cap THC Limits to 10% on flower products
-Further limit patients to a 35 day supply
-Add further limitations for 18+ and pediatric patients
-Push back testing regulations further
Here is the bottom line:
-This bill will actually make patients have to smoke more to get the relief they need (The House led the charge against smoking and now will cause more for patients to get the relief they need)
-This bill will basically be a tax on patients (Patients will have to spend and consume more driving them to the black market)
-They want to test to make sure THC isn't too high, is that for just THC, or THC-A & THC-B or anything else?(Do they know there is more then just THC and CBD in this plant? They havent even gotten their testing or research regulations implemented correctly and yet keep adding more)
-Limiting THC will not stop with just edibles and smoked cannabis, they will claim this about other products next if they can find one study to back up their claim (This is AS BAD OR WORSE then their genius idea for a 90 day wait way back)
-This bill needs its negatives amended or this bill must be stopped. 71% Did not vote for 10% limitations and they are asking for lawsuits all while hurting patients AGAIN! Maybe they should amend it to 71%!
You can find the full Bill details here: https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sect…/Bills/billsdetail.aspx…
If you can contact your legislators the best way is to do so is below:
W. Travis Cummings (R)
Dane Eagle (R)
Democratic Ranking Member
Kionne L. McGhee (D)
Bryan Avila (R)
Cord Byrd (R)
Ben Diamond (D)
Bobby DuBose (D)
Nicholas X. Duran (D)
Joe Geller (D)
Kristin Jacobs (D)
Evan Jenne (D)
Mike La Rosa (R)
Chris Latvala (R)
Thomas J. ''Tom'' Leek (R)
MaryLynn Magar (R)
Ralph Massullo, Jr. (R)
Cary Pigman (R)
Scott Plakon (R)
Rene Plasencia (R)
Holly Merrill Raschein (R)
Paul Renner (R)
Ray Wesley Rodrigues (R)
Carlos Guillermo Smith (D)
Chris Sprowls (R)
Richard Stark (D)
Jay Trumbull (R)
Barbara Watson (D)
Jayer Williamson (R)
Clay Yarborough (R)
Appropriations Committee Hearing: Tuesday 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Webster Hall 212 Knott Click Appear at meeting
Miami Beach officially dropped the ban proposal on March 13 after the public sutnick hour and having received many emails opposing.
This WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13th, the Miami Beach City Commission is considering a BAN on medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits.
MIAMI BEACH ELECTED OFFICIALS NEED TO HEAR YOUR VOICE!
Call or email Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and let him know you oppose the Miami Beach plan to restrict patient access. 80% of Miami Beach voters supported Amendment 2 in 2016, this is NOT what the residents of the City want.
Email Mayor Dan Gelber: [email protected]
Commissioners listed below
Call Mayor Dan Gelber: 305-673-7035
Tell the Mayor "This is NOT what we voted for. Miami Beach patients deserve access."
Here are the facts:
- In 2016, 71% of Floridians approved Amendment 2 - legalizing medical marijuana in Florida - and 80% of Miami Beach voters supported Amendment 2 that year.
- Joy Malakoff, an UNELECTED member of the Miami Beach City Commission, has proposed changing the law to BAN medical marijuana dispensaries in Miami Beach.
- Miami Beach ALREADY has one of the most restrictive laws on medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida! Since medical marijuana was legalized in 2016, only a SINGLE dispensary has open on the Beach.- The City Commission and Mayor will hear Malakoff's proposal this WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13th.
- Residents of Miami Beach can speak publicly from 8 am to 9 am at the "Sutnik Hour" for up to three minutes - if you live in Miami Beach, please come and make your voice heard!!!
- IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN MIAMI BEACH: Please come and show support! There are only a handful of dispensaries in Miami-Dade County - a ban in Miami Beach would hurt patient access across South Florida.
Where: Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive 3rd Floor, Miami Beach, FL 33139
When: 8AM Wed March 13th
Who to contact with questions: Jessica Landsberg, [email protected]
We need residents to come Residents can speak for 3 minutes during Sutnick hour, about why this doesn't work and give their suggestions. Some things we have heard are:
"Delivery is not enough, they only deliver once in my area"
"Patients shouldn't have to leave their homes or doctors to travel to the closest dispensary if they are unable to wait"
"Patients may not be able to get delivery at work, home, or be there the 1 day per week most dispensaries deliver and some will not deliver all of their products at all times some are only sold on locations"
"This all costs patients more money and for them to leave Miami Beach, delivery drivers increase traffic, and dont contribute to Miami Beach economy"
"These are not even like CVS or Walgreens as they only carry products they produce, meaning 1-3 is not enough by any means"
Tell your personal story and how these bans will be bad for patients!
Mayor and Commissioner Contact information
The Senate Health Policy Committee on Monday OK’d the bill (SB 182) by Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, but that was after amending it with language from chair Gayle Harrell, a Stuart Republican and health care consultant, that divided the panel.
The legislation first died on a 5-5 tie vote, was revived on a motion to reconsider, and the affirmative vote by Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat, put it over the top. Rouson said he changed his vote to move the bill along and ensure it wasn’t dead for the 2019 Legislative Session, which starts March 5.