TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida House passed a bill to lift the ban on smoking medical marijuana Wednesday.
- Bill passed in Florida House 101 to 11
- Becomes law upon Gov. DeSantis signature
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The bill already passed the Florida Senate, which means it now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.
Gov. DeSantis had set a mid-March deadline to get a bill to lift the ban passed. If it didn't happen, DeSantis had said he would drop lawsuits over the ban.
The bill, CS 182, does the following:
- Lifts the ban on smoking medical marijuana
- Bans smoking low-THC cannabis in public
- Prohibits smoking medical marijuana in an indoor workplace
- Bans patients under 18 from smoking medical marijuana unless they are diagnosed with a terminal condition
The bill passed the Florida House 101 to 11, with 8 missed votes.
The "No" votes all came from Republican lawmakers. It included State Rep. Thad Altman of Brevard County, State Reps. Mike Beltran of and Jackie Toledo of Hillsborough County, and State Rep. Ardian Zika of Pasco County.
You can find the full vote on the Florida House of Representatives website.
The bill takes effect upon becoming law.
St. Petersburg dispensary reacts
As the bill now heads to DeSantis's desk, marijuana dispensaries across the state and in the Bay area are eager to offer patients another option to take their cannabis.
“The most effective way for marijuana is to smoke it,” said Trulieve St. Pete product coordinator April Amey, “so this will change a lot and it'll be wonderful.”
Until now, patients prescribed medical marijuana were limited to using vape pens or vaporizers to take their cannabis. Some we spoke with say they’re looking forward to blowing off the vape.
“The smokable flower has just a completely different affect. There's a different feel a different taste with it,” said patient Kaeli Ellis. “Some of it is somewhat ceremonial."
"Everybody likes different delivery methods for different medications," she went on. "Some of us like NyQuil in a pill or in a swig, so I think it's the same with medical cannabis.”
The bill has several conditions on smokable marijuana. It can’t be smoked in public or at private businesses that are subject to the state’s cigarette smoking ban.
Also, no one under 18 can smoke it unless they’re terminally ill and have both a doctor and a pediatrician’s permission.