The Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida.

Stuart Seeger

Florida Lawmakers Pass MMJ Compromise, Lawsuit Likely Over No Smoking Provision

Florida’s legislature has passed a medical cannabis compromise measure, increasing the number of dispensaries and opening up the program for an estimated hundreds of thousands of Floridians, WLRN reports. However, the law does not allow smoking, which John Morgan, an Orlando-based attorney who bankrolled the Amendment 2 campaign, said will lead to a lawsuit.

“I do care about smoke, and I will sue them because of that,” Morgan said in the report. “It clearly was called for in the amendment, and so what they’ve done for me is allowed me to step back up on my soapbox and go get what the people of Florida wanted when they passed this bill with 71 percent.”

The new rules limit operators to 25 dispensaries – a compromise between the Senate and House, who wanted 15 and 99 per operator, respectively. Ten new cultivation licenses will also be made available; however, they will only be available to companies that were previously denied operation in the state. Currently, there are just seven licensed operators in Florida.

The constitutional amendment expands the qualifying condition list to include HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or other, similar conditions. Lawmakers included terminally ill patients, regardless of condition, as well as chronic pain caused by one of the conditions included in the amendment. Chronic pain on its own is not included in the legislative deal.

Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign the measure into law.

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