According to reports published in December 2020, new legislation has been introduced in the state of Florida that would potentially save Florida medical marijuana patients one doctor visit a year!
Currently, Florida law states that medical cannabis patients must visit a doctor twice a year in order to maintain their status in the Florida state patient registry and be able to have access to medical marijuana for their ailments. Eliminating the second doctor visit each year, is a step that leading industry advocates agree is long overdue.
In addition to reducing the number of doctor visits required each year, this measure also seeks to increase the maximum supply of cannabis that doctors can prescribe to each patient.
Taylor Biehl, a Tallahassee lobbyist who co-founded the Medical Marijuana Association of Florida said, “ Some folks are very, very home-bound and bedridden and some folks are terminally ill, and this is just to provide them with more comfort, knowing that they’re going to have their medicine, there won’t be any hiccups, there won’t be any hurdles to cross should there be an overlap in time.”
The measure SB 214 by Sen. Jeff Branders (R-St. Petersburg) states that patients would need only be examined annually by a state-certified medical marijuana physician. Disabled veterans would only be subject to biennial exams. This measure would also increase the maximum supply of cannabis that doctors can prescribe from 7 months to 350 days.
While this measure would certainly be a win for patients and a step towards making medical cannabis more accessible to all, it could experience resistance from conservative Republicans. Soon after the vote to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature passed the current, tight restrictions they deemed necessary to control distribution and use of cannabis in the state, as it is still federally illegal.
However, any opposition may not have the data to back up claims that tighter restrictions are needed since there have been so few occurrences of marijuana abuse since the 2016 law was passed. This makes supporters of the new bill optimistic about its chance to pass during the 2021 legislative session with hope to take some of the hassle out of the restriction for patients.
If you think you have an ailment that may benefit from medical marijuana treatment, and would like to talk to our certified Florida Marijuana doctors, you can book an appointment and come to any of our 10 convenient MMJ Health locations in Florida.