Dispensaries await Health Department rules before patients can smoke pot

Legislature passes smokable medical marijuana

By James Sparvero - Reporter

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Florida's medical marijuana consumers are waiting on the state health department to create the new rules for smoking pot.

Until then, Palm Bay patient Hallet Johnson continues vaping to help with his back pain.

"It gives you focus and keeps you active. It's just more of a pure medication," Johnson said about how medical marijuana has helped him.

Under the new law, patients will be able to smoke medical marijuana in the form of rolled cigarettes or flowers.

Central Florida dispensaries, including Curaleaf, said the smokable product is ready, it's just a matter of waiting on whatever regulations are created.

"It's happening. We just have to be patient," patient Noelene Stanley said. "Government is the slowest working company in the country."

Two years ago, under Gov. Rick Scott, Florida banned smoking medical marijuana.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday repealing that ban.

"Over 70 percent of Florida approved medical marijuana in 2016, DeSantis tweeted. "I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for working with me to ensure the will of the voters is upheld."

Johnson said it's a shame that it took this long.

"People have been smoking marijuana for hundreds of years," he said, adding he thinks marijuana should also be legalized for recreational use.

"I think it could be recreational but I think it has to be like alcohol. It has to be 21 and up," Johnson said.
For those under 18, patients must be terminally ill and two doctors must approve.

The Florida Department of Health said Tuesday it's "currently reviewing and preparing for the implementation of SB 182 to ensure safe access to this medicine."

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