Alternative proposal for medical marijuana offered for consideration by full Senate
Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) today filed legislation to implement the medical marijuana constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 2, which passed with over 71% of voter approval on the November 2016 General Ballot. The proposal by Senator Brandes will be considered as an amendment to Senate Bill 8A, the Amendment 2 implementation bill filed by Senator Rob Bradley (R-Orange Park) scheduled to be heard by the Senate during the 2017 Special Legislative Session A.
“This proposal is the purest implementation proposal that the legislature has seen to date for Amendment 2,” stated Senator Brandes. “For the first time the Florida Senate will have an opportunity to vote consistent with our Republican principles of free markets and fair competition. This legislation puts Florida patients first, and protects the physician-patient relationship. I look forward to a robust conversation with my colleagues on this proposal, and I urge their support so that we can address this important issue during the Special Session.”
The proposal by Senator Brandes repeals Florida’s current law relating to low-THC medical marijuana. Under the Brandes proposal, medical marijuana is not subject to sales tax. Additionally, the number of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) licensed in the state will be determined by market demand, rather than an arbitrary maximum set in law. Furthermore, the Brandes proposal eliminates the “vertical integration” mandate, which is a requirement that the same company must grow, process, transport, and dispense medical marijuana. The Brandes proposal provides flexibility to local governments to determine whether or not medical marijuana retail facilities may be located within their jurisdiction, and limits the number of retail facilities to not more than one per 25,000 residents. Finally, the Brandes proposal authorizes any method of consumption so that physicians can determine the best form of administering medical marijuana, rather than lawmakers.
For more information on the proposal by Senator Brandes, click here.