ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that repeals the state's ban on use of smokable medical marijuana.
The Republican governor signed the measure Monday, the first bill he has approved since taking office. DeSantis also announced the state is dropping its previous appeal of court rulings that also would have ended the ban.
Voters approved medical marijuana in 2016, but lawmakers banned smokable forms of the plant in a bill signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott. The state was sued over that issue.
Under the new law, smokable medical marijuana would not be available to anyone under 18 unless the patient is terminally ill and if two doctors approve. Among other limitations, it could not be smoked in public or at private businesses subject to a cigarette smoking ban.
Here are five things to know about the new law.
1. Even though the law takes effect immediately, you still can't get the marijuana.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 182 on Monday and, although the law takes effect immediately, smokable medical marijuana will not be available at most dispensaries immediately.
Truelieve and Knox dispensaries both told News 6 they are waiting for the Florida Department of Health to map out new rules and regulations, and as of now, there's no timetable for those to be implemented.
2. Patients need a prescription.
Patients seeking the smokable form of medical marijuana will need to have both a state medical marijuana card and a doctor's prescription in order to obtain it, once it's made available.
3. Patients will have a choice at the counter.
Qualified patients will have a choice of pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes or a marijuana flower. Refills will be available every six months.
4. Patients cannot smoke medical marijuana in public.
Under the new law, patients will have to smoke the medical marijuana in an enclosed space away from the public, such as a home.
5. Children will be able to smoke medical marijuana.
Under the new law, children with terminal illnesses who have obatined a second opinion from a doctor will be allowed to smoke medical marijuana.
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