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There were many pot bills filed in the Legislature this year. Will any be heard?

As the Legislature reaches the halfway point of the 2020 session, no committee has yet to hear any of the wide range of bills filed to address a list of issues in Florida’s medical marijuana program.

Marijuana advocates are frustrated and people in the industry are left scratching their heads.

2019 was an eventful year for cannabis, but without a constitutional amendment to be implemented or the prodding of Gov. Ron DeSantis to make moves, there is little motivation for leadership to take up marijuana bills.

Bill to waive the $75 medical card fee for patients who are veterans.

This bill would exempt veterans from having to pay fees to attain, replace or renew a medical marijuana card. The idea was brought up by Broward Democratic Sen. Gary Farmer as an amendment to an existing marijuana bill during the 2019 legislative session but failed to make it onto the bill.

This year, the bill was filed in the Senate by Tampa Democrat Janet Cruz and in the House by Riverview Democrat Adam Hattersley, who is a Navy veteran.

Neither version of the bill has been heard in committee.

Bill to eliminate the vertically integrated business model in Florida’s medical marijuana law, undo the cap on the number of licenses and legalize marijuana for adult use.

This jam-packed set of bills filed by St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes and Orlando Democrat Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, includes a variety of policies that would reshape the marijuana industry.

The bill would legalize adult use of marijuana for people over 21, order the courts to expunge criminal records of people with certain marijuana-related offenses and open up the current medical marijuana business model.

The current model maintains that a license holder must grow, process, test and sell their product without any subcontractors or middle men.

Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, also has a bill that addresses the medical marijuana business model and lifts the cap on licenses the state can issue.

None of the bills have been heard.


Read more at the Miami Herald

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