LAKE MARY, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - It’s now the law, with the Florida governor’s signature is on it: patients can smoke their medical marijuana, well they almost can.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on Monday that would allow adult patients to smoke medical marijuana in their homes. The compromised measure (SB 182) allows patients to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for smoking every 35 days and have up to 4 ounces of cannabis in their possession at any time.
That came after the state legislature, in 2016, blocked smokable forms of the medicine after more than 70 percent of voters approved medical pot for the state. Gov. DeSantis, earlier this year, ordered legislators to reverse course and begin allowing the medicine to be smoked.
So under the law, the rules are laid out for patients. Now begins the process of laying out the rules for the growers and sellers.
According to industry experts, the State Department of Health now has to set growing and selling regulations for smokable medical marijuana. That will likely include things like cultivation standards, what quantities it can be sold in, and other essential guidelines.
In a statement Tuesday, the Department of Health said: Senate Bill 182 requires rulemaking from the Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine for standardized informed consent forms and practice standards for the certification of smoking as a route of administration. It also requires rulemaking related to the appearance, and labeling of marijuana delivery devices dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center.
A link to the full text of the bill is available here. The Department is currently reviewing and preparing for the implementation of SB 182 to ensure safe access to this medicine.
Growers and dispensary leaders called this an important step Tuesday to ensuring a safe and quality product that will do what it should do for patients.
"We're waiting on those regs with bated breath and as soon as we get some guidance from the department we're gonna get our team together to get our products in line,” said Brady Cobb, CEO of SOL Global and owner of 3 Boys Farm near Tampa.
So how long will it take to get that smokable marijuana into stores? Well that’s not super clear yet.
Several industry experts told FOX 35 Tuesday that they expect the process to move fast and likely be complete in the next few months.
The Department of Health has not commented on a timeline.