Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed the legislation approving the expanded medical cannabis regime approved by voters in November, but the measure will likely face legal challenges over the provisions banning smoking, the News Service of Florida reports.
Count Joe Redner, a strip club operator and lung cancer patients, has already sued the state over rules barring patients from growing their own plants.
The constitutional amendment, approved by 71 percent of voters, gives physicians authority to recommend cannabis to potentially hundreds of thousands of patients by expanding the qualifying condition list to include cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
The rules expand the number of dispensaries allowed to each operator to 25; however, those licenses will only be available to companies that were previously denied operation in the state.
John Morgan, an Orlando-based attorney who bankrolled the Amendment 2 campaign, said earlier this month that he “will sue” the state because the amendment “clearly called for” smoking to be permitted.
“…So what they’ve done for me is allowed me to step back up on my soapbox and go get what the people of Florida wanted when they passed this bill with 71 percent,” he said.
Additionally, the law establishes the Coalition for Medical Marijuana Research and Education within the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. Patients will be charged a $10 identification card fee to participate in the program.
The new rules take effect immediately.