After two years of delays due to court challenges at every single step, a limited number of patients in Florida might finally get some much needed relief from medical marijuana. Charlotte’s Web, a law that allows low-THC strains of marijuana to be prescribed to patients with epilepsy and other debilitating seizure conditions, was signed into law in 2014 and until now, patients have seen little hope of getting the relief they were promised.
Luckily, after United for Care started gathering their signatures, it seemed that the state Department of Health finally decided to get a move on the law passed by the state, which John Morgan claims was a decoy so people would think lawmakers were taking care of medical marijuana, when really they created an extremely limited program that helps only a handful of patients.
In November, we finally saw licensed nurseries who have now been approved for cultivation – and rumor has it there are finally seeds in the ground nearly five months later. There were legal challenges here as well, growers who were not chosen who felt they should not have been denied – one of which has now been approved as the sixth nursery, after finding out the nursery should not have been excluded.
On top of finally having six approved growers (one more than originally allowed thanks to the expansion of the law allowing the terminally ill to use full strength marijuana) and the possibility of seeds being planted, doctors are also preparing to prescribe cannabis to their patients – with around 125 doctors who have completed the 8-hour course required for them to learn the ramifications behind recommending cannabis.
If (or when?) Amendment 2 passes in November, all of this work will put us further ahead than many anticipated. After the long year and a half wait to see the Department of Health licensing nurseries, it seemed like it could be another couple of years before seeds were planted and patients would see relief. There is definitely fear among marijuana advocates in Florida that the state would take just as long to implement Amendment 2.
However, having cannabis already growing, and with the expansion allowing them to grow both low-THC and full strength medical marijuana, as well as doctors ready to prescribe the herb, we are right on track to have a full scale medical marijuana program implemented in no time.
Hopefully, all this keeps up the momentum and continues to bring us closer to patients finding the relief they deserve – and maybe in November the program will be open to many more who would benefit from medical marijuana.