Amendment 2 won with 71% of the vote last November and Florida lawmakers are still arguing over how to best establish the state medical marijuana system.
The Florida legislative session ended on May 5th without elected officials establishing common ground on how to best regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry. Amended on the final day of Florida’s legislative session, the House modifiedH. B. 1397 to impose a restriction of 100 retail dispensaries for each of the state’s medical marijuana operators – while the Senate proposed 10.
Now, a special session is necessary. And provided state representatives refuse to come back for a special legislative session to negotiate and finalize the rules governing Amendment 2, that responsibility would then be determined by the Florida Department of Health.
Either through a special legislative session or the Department of Health, Floridians need to establish their medical marijuana regulations by July 3, 2017, in order to meet the October deadline for implementing Amendment 2.
Concerned the health department would adopt overly restrictive regulations, Florida’s Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran was critical of the department’s ability to govern the program. On Wednesday, Corcoran spoke with WFLA-FM radio where he clearly made his frustration evident: “To just leave it to bureaucrats sitting over at the Department of Health I think would be a gross injustice.”
Anxious for elected officials to return to the state capital, Corcoran concluded, “I do believe and support the notion that we should come back and address and finalize dealing with medical marijuana.”
Currently, there are 15 Representatives that have openly called for a special session, “either on social media or in interviews.” According to the Tampa Bay Times, the below list represents Florida’s politicians standing up for the 71% of the electorate that voted for medical marijuana: