Florida governor wants ban on smokeable medical pot ended

Newly sworn-in Gov. Ron De Santis speaks during an event at the Freedom Tower where he named Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court

DeSantis Threatens Airbnb with Sanctions over Israeli Settlement Boycott Joe Raedle Getty 16 Jan 2019

Newly sworn-in Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing to end a state ban on smokable medical marijuana. "I think the folks who clean didn't realize what it was". DeSantis said. "I want people to be able to have their suffering relieved".

Florida has enrolled over 212,000 patients in the state's medical marijuana program since it came into effect, the Florida Department of Health announced earlier this month.

Florida's requirement for growers to follow a seed to sale model was successfully challenged in court past year.

If it doesn't do so by mid-March, he said he will drop the appeal filed under his predecessor, now U.S. Sen.

The annual legislative session begins March 5.

DeSantis also said he wants the amended law to address licensing limits that are also subjects of lawsuits.

Whether the ban is lifted will depend on the legislature's action to drop the appeal.

"We're not used to having people pick up for us", the governor said Tuesday while in Boca Raton. "I don't want to continue fighting some of these old battles". The law also capped the number of medical-marijuana licenses and the number of dispensaries in the state. DeSantis says he prefers horizontal integration, which would allow medical marijuana companies to specialize in certain aspects of the business.

Current licensees stand to lose the most if the market is opened up. "But that is not good policy so I'd like them to address that as well".

"They created a cartel essentially", said DeSantis. "Many Senators share these concerns and have ideas they are interested in advancing, which include smokable forms of treatment". House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami, also should get on board and get this done quickly. "Including ensuring patients have options and our kids remain protected".

"Since this governor was elected I have been incredibly encouraged", Morgan said, adding: "He's read the constitutional amendment".

More than anything, DeSantis showed he recognizes the problem and respects the intent of the voters.

One of the plaintiffs in Morgan's case is Manatee County resident Cathy Jordan, who has smoked marijuana for decades to ease the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

The governor has made it clear that he is against using recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana advocates agree, but only if the change actually happens. Those regulations ban medical marijuana users from smoking pot, however, forcing patients to use alternative forms, like pills and oils, and spurring the lawsuit put on hold later Thursday.

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