Thanks to the quick actions of Governor Rick Scott of Florida, it has now joined the ranks of 22 other states in the U.S. to legalize marijuana in compassionate care cases. Senate Bill 1030, which quickly passed in both the house and the senate with an overwhelming majority votes was signed into law on June 16. This ground breaking decision will change the way Florida looks at cannabis and how it is regulated by law enforcement.
The fine print of Senate Bill 1030.
Senate Bill 1030 which was quickly passed and signed into law will help protect medical professionals while prescribing cannabis. This new law will allow fully licensed medical professional to prescribe low grade cannabis oil to patients with terminal and chronic illnesses including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and ailments that produce seizures and chronic muscle spasms.
People receiving medical marijuana treatments must get it from a licensed doctor and they have to be a permanent resident of Florida. The law states that only the licensed medical professional can add patients to a new “compassionate use registry.” Furthermore, the law states that only 5 producers will be allowed to cultivate the cannabis oil. These cultivators will be in each corner of the state with one place in the middle. The bill also states that smoking marijuana will still be considered illegal.
What are the pros of the new law?
• The new law being passed in a Southern state which could lead to others following suit. The South has shown strong opposition against the legalization of any form of Marijuana but Florida might have change the tide.
• It might just help reduce the cost of medical care. Cannabis oil can be made cheaper than most pharmaceuticals and this would help drive down cost for people with chronic illness that are covered by the bill.
• The bill also allows the state university system to begin testing with cannabis which could lead to new medical breakthroughs and cures.
What are the cons we should consider?
• Having only 5 producers could drive a normally cheap product up in price. With only five companies in the market, the choices will be very limited and a monopoly of sorts could come into existence.
• You won’t be seeing a head shop or a marijuana shop popping up selling cannabis oil around the state which would limit patient’s access to a local source. Although, you might see a medical marijuana shop depending on how officials decide to dispense the oil.
• Many chronic ailments won’t be covered by the bill, leaving millions of state residents without the benefits of cannabis oil which is grossly unfair to many.