A bill that would lift the ban on cannabis smoking in Florida successfully passed the state Senate on Thursday, The Orlando Sentinel reports.
The Florida Senate passed SB 182 by a 34-4 margin.
“Marijuana is now medicine in the state of Florida and how that medicine is administered should be between their doctor and that patient.” — state Sen. Gary Farmer (D-Lighthouse Point), via Orlando Sentinel
Florida’s medical cannabis laws, established in 2017 based on a successful 2016 voter initiative, have so far banned the act of smoking medical cannabis. A lower Florida court ruled in 2018 that the smoking ban was unconstitutional, but then-Gov. Rick Scott appealed the decision. However, Scott was ousted by current Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said he would drop the appeal and set a deadline of March 15 for the state’s Congress to pass a new law allowing for patients to smoke.
SB 182 would accomplish that goal. It now heads to the House, where there is already a medical cannabis update in the works but which still has a smoking ban in place for some patients. Senate bill sponsor Jeff Brandes, however, said he expects the House will pass the bill approved by the Senate instead.
While the outcome of the House vote is not yet completely set in stone, the bill is expected to pass and be on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk for his signature before the March 15 deadline. DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law.
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