By Ed Coghlan
The news regarding medical marijuana this past week show how differently states are regulating it.
For chronic pain patients in Florida who like use marijuana to help reduce their pain the good news is that Florida is going to begin selling medical marijuana on Tuesday. The bad news is it won’t be readily available.
At this point, just one company is approved to dispense it.
“We’re not talking about having a dispensary on every street corner,” Richard Blau, an attorney who leads the regulated products practice at a Florida law firm told CNBC. “It is still a very controlled, closely tailored and very heavily regulated structure.”
The Florida Legislature approved medical marijuana two years ago. State voters may be ready to expand it.
Amendment Two on the Nov. 8 ballot in Florida would broaden medical cannabis usage to individuals with “debilitating” medical conditions certified by a licensed physician. It also would greatly expand the consumer base for the state’s marijuana industry.
In Colorado, where marijuana has been legal for recreational use, a Denver judge temporarily blocked the suspensions of four doctors who were the first in the state to be punished for allegedly over-recommending high plant counts to medical marijuana patients.
As the Denver Post reported the Medical Board suspended the doctors after alleging they had written recommendations allowing more than 1,500 medical marijuana patients, combined, to grow or possess 75 or more plants. The standard plant count for a medical marijuana patient is six, but doctors may recommend more if they find it medically necessary.
In Illinois, a judge has told the state regulators that they should “re-think” the use of medical marijuana to treat migraines. Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed a law adding PTSD and terminal illness as qualifying conditions, so it won’t be surprising to see migraines added soon.
In California, where medical marijuana has been legal for 20 years, the state has been trying to rein in the industry. A new state law imposes new regulatory measures on medical pot businesses in California. Previously, businesses needed only a city license. And the type of license is getting more strictly defined. There are now 17 different license types covering dispensaries, manufacturing, cultivation, transportation, distribution and testing.
Californians will vote in November on a ballot proposition that would make marijuana legal, but that action will not affect the implementation of California’s medical marijuana law. The state will issue additional guidelines in 2017.
25 states have legalized marijuana for medical use.
(Here’s a list of which states have legalized itand what is approved in each state)
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