TALLAHASSEE — What began as a decisive instruction from voters that patients who need medical marijuana should have access to it is shaping up to be a complex and contentious fight in the Florida Capitol.
Florida's new medical marijuana market will start to take shape today as a panel of senators workshops five proposals to put the voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing the drug into place.
Last week, hundreds of hopeful patients, caregivers and business interests filled meeting rooms across the state to tell health officials how they want Florida’s medical marijuana program to go into effect after 71 percent of voters approved it.
The Florida Department of Health’s fifth and final hearing on new medical marijuana rules may have been its most sparsely attended, but those who did show up largely spoke with one voice.
State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, on Wednesday proposed new rules for medical marijuana in Florida, putting forward an idea that would compete with legislation already filed by another Senate Republican.
If Floridians vote to legalize medical marijuana through Amendment 2 on Tuesday, the state will open its borders to a new, booming industry that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars in just a few years.
For the last two months, most of the money fueling Florida’s medical marijuana fight hasn’t been coming from Florida families hoping for patient access to medical marijuana or anti-drug activists who worry about the impact on their home state.