For a growing number of adults in Florida with health issues, medical marijuana has become an essential part of their wellness program. A central aspect of the effects of its use for patients is being able to receive the benefits of cannabis quickly to reduce their symptoms. Smoking the substance is one of the most efficient means for users to feel the effects almost immediately.
Until recently smoking as a form of administration of medical cannabis in the state of Florida was illegal.
This was due mainly to research showing the adverse health aspects of smoking any substance including tobacco and marijuana.
This changed recently when the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 186 allowing adults to be able to smoke their medical marijuana. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on March 18, 2019. This new directive repeals a 2017 law that banned smoking as a way for individuals to administer their medical use cannabis. Prior rules allowed patients to be able to deliver the substance by use of sprays, oils, creams, liquids, and vaporizers.
Rules of the Smoking Law
With all forms of administration, qualified physicians must agree to the procedure of how a patient is to take their medical marijuana. The new law offers doctors another option for their patients. For patients, smoking provides a much quicker route of administration for those in need of immediate relief of their symptoms.
By this law, the patient is allowed to use the whole flower cannabis for smoking. Any patient seeking to use this method must sign a consent form from their doctor stating they understand the adverse health risks smoking the substance may cause them.
Patients that are permitted to administer their medical marijuana by smoking are allowed to receive up to 2.5 ounces of the whole flower cannabis and possess as much as four ounces. This amount is for no more than a 35 day supply and must be authorized by a qualified physician. The law also grants patients the ability to buy their delivery devices used for smoking cannabis, from places other than a medical marijuana treatment center.
For people that do choose smoking as a way to administer their medical cannabis, they must follow the same public laws as tobacco users. This includes bans on smoking in most indoor workplaces, restaurants, bars and other public locations.
Exception for Some Minors
There is an exception to this law for the use of some children under the age of 18. To be approved for smoking medical cannabis the minor must be diagnosed with a terminal illness. A child under 18 must have a recommendation to smoke by both a qualified physician and a pediatrician. Also, the child’s parent or guardian is required to sign a consent form stating they are aware of the health risks of smoking and are allowing their minor to use smoking as a form of administering their medical marijuana.
Motion to Dismiss
In conjunction with making smoking as a form of administration of medical cannabis legal, Governor DeSantis also filed a motion to dismiss and vacate court cases that upheld the prior smoking ban, calling them unconstitutional.
With the new law approving smoking as a form of administration, the state legislature has taken another step forward in its acceptance of the use of medical marijuana. Each level of approval is a show of support to the full-time and seasonal residents of Florida that use medical marijuana to ease symptoms of a wide variety of severe illnesses and disorders.