The sun setting behind palm trees on Clearwater Beach in Florida.

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Smoking MMJ Will Not Be Allowed in Final Florida Law

Florida’s House and Senate are continuing to make changes to the state’s medical cannabis constitutional amendment enacted by voters last November, and neither body has any intention of allowing smoking, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Michael Minardi, a lawyer and medical cannabis advocate in the state, accused the legislature of thwarting the will of the more-than 70 percent of voters who approved the law during the General Election.

“These are veterans. These are the elderly. These are seniors, and people with ALS or PTSD, who benefit [from] and use cannabis in a smoked form,” he said in the report. “What you are doing here, by creating this legislation when 71 percent of the people support it, is going against their will.”

State Sen. Rob Bradley, a Republican who has for the last three years supported cannabis legislation in the Senate, said smoking provisions will not be included in the final version of the bill.

“There is agreement between the majority of the House and Senate that the smoking of cannabis is not an act that is consistent with a healthy life and not consistent with consuming medicine,” he said.

Florida lawmakers are also considering limiting the number of dispensaries allowed in the state and restricting the number of licenses dispensary operators would be able to hold; one plan would cap that number at three.

Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, agreed that the law should include limiting the number of operating licenses a dispensary can hold, saying that allowing unlimited licenses would cause patients to “suffer the consequences of a state-mandated monopoly.” He did not support limiting the number of dispensaries allowed throughout the state.

House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, who has proposed banning cannabis-infused edibles, called the current bill “a work in progress.”

“Our goal is to produce an implementing bill that honors the letter and the spirit of the constitutional amendment and does it in a way that protects Florida citizens,” he said.

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