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Special session ends after Florida Legislature approves deal

Special session ends after Florida Legislature approves deal

"They worked hard to get a bill that made sense".

"Only we in the Legislature appropriate money and the governor is involved in spending and in doing so we offer some level of discretion, " he said.

But Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) says negotiators have reached a compromise on the framework.

But state Rep. Katie Edwards, a Plantation Democrat who was instrumental in passage of the 2014 law authorizing low-THC marijuana for certain patients, questioned why drafters of the amendment could not have been "more clear" regarding the smoking issue.

"What we passed was a very good bill", Rodrigues said.

The bill still bans smoking despite amendment supporters saying it is written into the language.

John Morgan, who was the driving force behind getting the amendment on the ballot, said he will sue if smoking is not allowed.

Morgan said the language in the amendment was meant to quash the specter of people smoking pot on the street. "I don't know why they would object to anyone on their death bed wanting to use what they wanted to relieve pain and suffering". If lawmakers aren't able to co-create an effective plan, it will fall to the Department of Health to create the rules and regulations. "This patient-first legislation removes barriers for both patients and physicians, expanding access to this medicine".

Gov. Rick Scott
Listen Listening... 3:15 This story is an update of a story that origi

The bill comes up for a vote on Friday, the last day of the session. The legislation also adds 10 more medical marijuana treatment centers, meaning there would be 17 statewide by October.

The Senate even briefly considered a proposal to scrap and overhaul the state's current medical marijuana laws and instead replace them with a vertical integration system with no retail facility caps for MMTCs. Asked whether there was a deal linking that bill to his priorities during the special session, Scott said: "I'm still reviewing the bills". Four more centers will be licensed per 100,000 patients.

The new licenses would go to Arcadia-based Sun Bulb Nurseries; Jacksonville- based Loop's Nursery; Tornello Landscape, also known as "3 Boys Farm", and Plants of Ruskin, both based in Ruskin; and Treadwell Nursery in Eustis, according to Department of Health staff. It was estimated recently, after a Canadian company attempted to purchase a controlling stake in the Alachua County medical marijuana treatment center CHT Medical, that a state license could be worth as much as $200 million.

House and Senate lawmakers are taking another crack at implementing last year's medical marijuana amendment. They're trying to limit how many people (and who) can distribute it, and how many dispensaries would be allowed.

Morgan spoke for the majority when he toldWPBF 25 News, "You can't just stiff arm the people of Florida with 71 percent of the vote".

Brandes said the bill should appeal to his Republican colleagues' free-market sensibilities. shouldn't it?

"To date, I've had 15 patients pass away, waiting for the 90 days, and I've had another handful of patients that have not been to my office, because they didn't believe they were going to make it the 90 days".


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