A bill in Florida would place strict limits on THC potency of synthetic and hemp extracts, such as delta-8 THC, and include other reforms to the state’s medical cannabis law, Florida Politics reports. The bill’s sponsors, Democratic Rep. Andrew Learned and Republican Rep. Spencer Roach describe the proposal as the “first major update” to the state’s medical cannabis statute since voters approved the reforms five years ago.
“We are working to deliver significant cost savings for patients, make the program more user-friendly and at the same time ensure safety for both patients and our children.” — Learned in a statement via Florida Politics
Under the proposal, sales of hemp products designed for consumption, including delta-8 products, would only be permitted to individuals 21-and-older.
Additionally, the measure would increase the terms of medical cannabis patient licenses and the time between required doctor appointments, which the bill sponsors say combined would cut an estimated 60% of the cost of participation in the medical cannabis program.
It would also remove physician appointments for medical cannabis patient recertification under specific guidelines, allow recertification via telehealth, end the practice of selling medical cannabis dispensary licenses for monetary gain, create new industry testing requirements, and increase the transparency of state regulations.
Under the proposal, the course required by Florida for physicians that recommend medical cannabis would triple from two to six hours.
The bill also includes a ban on cannabis-related advertising that markets to children but would still allow physicians and dispensaries to advertise online, provided that the ads are approved by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and is not a pop-up ad. The ads must also not promote “recreational use” of cannabis.
The measure would also prohibit dispensaries or individuals with 5% or more of the voting share of a center from employing or having an economic interest in a doctor’s practice or cannabis testing lab and outlaw testing labs and their officers, directors, and employees from having “direct or indirect” economic interests or financial relationships with dispensaries.
It would also create a new oversight agency – the Medical Marijuana Testing Advisory Council – which would be tasked with providing input on industry testing policies and standards and issue an annual report recommending ways to prevent cannabis-related traffic infractions and accidents, the application of drug-free workplace policies, and testing standards.
The bill was introduced on Monday but has not yet been moved to any committee.