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Medical marijuana compromise in the works

April 30th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

The Florida House gave tenative approval to its medical marijuana legislation Friday. 71 percent of voters approved it in November, but patients looking to smoke medicinal pot may be out of luck.

Compromise over marijuana is in the air at the Capitol. A restrictive house plan has gotten more patient friendly, says Senate Sponsor Rob Bradley.

“They’ve gotten rid of the ninety day waiting period. they’ve added edibles. They’ve added vaping. So I feel feel like the House is in a much better position than they were before” Bradley says.

Weeks ago, House sponsor Ray Rodrigues said almost everything was on the table.

“Aside from the issues of no smoking and no taxation.”

Neither the House or Senate plan now allows smoking medical marijuana.

“If the drafters of the amendment wanted to be explicit on that point, they would have been explicit on that point” says Bradley.

But authors of the amendment say smoking is referenced once, when it is prohibited in public, implying it is allowed, and through the definition of cannabis already in law. More importantly, drafter Ben Pollera says ask a hundred people.

“What they think of when they think of marijuana, they think of a green leafy thing that you smoke” Pollera told us by phone.

Pollera says lawsuits are likely if smoking isn’t in the final version

The biggest sticking point between the House and Senate is how many new licenses there will be, and who will get them.

Black Farmers are guaranteed a license in both the House and Senate. The Senate plan produces more licenses faster than the House, which lobbyist Ron Watson says is needed.

“To ingest more competition into the system. to drive down prices” says Watson.

Both sides will be working on a final comprise over the weekend.

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