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Even though Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016, the question “is marijuana legal in Florida?” has yielded a complicated answer for years. While voters did approve a constitutional amendment that legalized medical cannabis, the amendment itself didn’t exactly get specific when it came to how medical marijuana could be used – and that’s where the trouble began. Along with fellow lawmakers and state health regulators, Governor Rick Scott elected to severely limit access to medical cannabis, including passing a strict ban on smoking marijuana or purchasing it in bud form.
For medical marijuana patients, this law created serious accessibility issues, while cannabis advocates argued that the restrictions went directly against what voters had in mind. Now, nearly three years later, advocates and patients alike are celebrating a major win in their fight for fair, legal access to medical marijuana.
Florida’s Cannabis Regulations Determined Unconstitutional
When advocates sued then-Governor Rick Scott over the unfair regulation of cannabis, Circuit Judge Charles W. Dodson declared Scott’s cannabis law unconstitutional. According to Judge Dodson’s written order, the law was in direct violation of the voter-approved amendment. The law was struck down, and the state’s appeal was also refused. At that point, Florida was left without a clear direction for the sale and regulation of medical marijuana – but all that changed on March 18, 2019.
Governor DeSantis Proposes a New Solution
As of mid-March, recently-elected Governor DeSantis signed SB 182 (“Medical Use of Marijuana”) into law. Not only does the new law legalize the sale of cannabis in its flower form, but it also permits for smokable marijuana.
Governor DeSantis released a statement immediately after signing the bill into law, highlighting his focus on adhering to what voters had initially called for in the 2016 election:
Over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016. I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for working with me to ensure the will of the voters is upheld. Now that we have honored our duty to find a legislative solution, I have honored my commitment and filed a joint motion to dismiss the state’s appeal and to vacate the lower court decision which had held the prior law to be unconstitutional.
With the new medical marijuana law on the books and the old court case thrown out, Florida MMJ patients are celebrating a major victory.
What Do Florida’s Medical Marijuana Laws Mean for Me?
If you already have your Florida state medical marijuana card, you can expect to be able to purchase flower by this summer, at the latest. This means you’ll gain new ways to incorporate medical cannabis into your natural living regimen and be able to explore different options that may better suit your lifestyle.
For Florida dispensaries, business will be blooming with the addition of a huge variety of legalized product options. Additionally, doctors will be able to suggest a wider range of cannabis options to their patients, potentially opening up successful treatment paths for those that did not have them before.
Learn More About Your Medical Marijuana Options at Express Marijuana Clinic
If you’re interested in speaking with a doctor about whether you qualify for a medical marijuana card, Express Marijuana Card can help. Visit one of our Florida locations for a professional consultation, and learn more about how to get a medical marijuana card, what medical marijuana options might be right for you, and how to integrate marijuana into your treatment plan.
For more information about the Florida marijuana legalization and how it may affect you, contact Express Marijuana Card today.