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Department of Health Moves Ahead With Medical Marijuana

May 26th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
After Florida lawmakers failed to pass legislation implementing medical marijuana, the Department of Health says it will issue rules for implementing the voter approved amendment.
It’s another signal the Legislature is running out of time to call a special session.
Medical marijuana advocates say the Department of Health is doing the best they can to implement amendment 2 properly, but they’re hoping Lawmakers will come back to finish the job 71% of voters asked them to do.
The Department of Health announced it will give 15 days notice of what rules it intends to adopt prior to implementing anything.
It also has offered three days of public comment before adopting any rules.
The Medical Marijuana Business Association says the time frames are acceptable considering the rapidly approaching deadline of July 3rd.
“Everybody will be very vigilant watching the Department watching what the department is going to be doing, so I think it’s the best they can do,” said Jeff Sharkey, founder of the association.
As the deadline draws nearer calls for a special session are growing.
Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has joined the ranks those asking the Legislature to come back.
“I think that a special session is in order because I think that for a constitutional amendments implementation it’s important for elected officials to do it not the bureaucrats at the department of health,” said Putnam.
Drug Free America also wants a Special Session.
“It’s really quite overwhelming for us to expect the Department of Health the bare the burden of this without the guidance of the Legislature,” said Executive Director Calvina Fay.
If lawmakers don’t come back, DOH is bound by current law, requiring patients to wait 90 days before receiving their medicine after its recommendation.
“They know what the people want. Will they implement it? Will the voices make a difference?” said Josephine Cannella-Krehl with the Florida Cannabis Action Network.
Rules for medical marijuana must be in place by October 3rd.
The 90-day waiting period does not apply to terminally ill patients.

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