Updated: Apr 22, 2019
Doctors can finally recommend and prescribe smokable medical marijuana to qualifying patients in the State of Florida, more than two years after voters had their say.
Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law legislation that allows patients over 18 to have legal access to 2.5 ounces of smokable medical marijuana every 35 days. The bill, SB 182, was presented to the governor on March 13, signed into law on Monday, March 18, and went into effect immediately.
Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. Despite the clear message sent by 70% of voters, then-Governor Rick Scott's legislature banned medical marijuana in smokable form, and placed heavy restrictions on what types of products would be made available. Per his orders, only capsules, topicals, tinctures and vapes were allowed.
With the election of DeSantis in 2018 came swift and sweeping changes from the Florida capitol. “I thank my colleagues in the legislature for working with me to ensure the will of the voters is upheld,” DeSantis said in a statement. “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.” The new bill also requires that all patients sign an informed consent form acknowledging the health risks of smoking marijuana.
Patients under 18 in Florida, with a doctor's recommendation, will also have access to smokable medical marijuana if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Florida joins a host of other states in the US making medical and/or recreational marijuana legal. To date, 36 states have passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana. Find out which states
Meanwhile globally, the UK is the latest country to legalize medical cannabis, having done so in November 2018. The United Kingdom joins a growing list of countries allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis-based products for a wide array of illnesses and conditions.
Other countries that have legalized medical marijuana (and even recreational) including:
Canada (the second country to fully legalize; 2018)
Uruguay (the first country to fully legalize, 2013)
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