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Bipartisan bill aims to add new rules to Florida’s medical marijuana industry

After years of partisan squabbling over the fate of Florida’s medical marijuana program, Democrats and Republicans are coming together to push what they’re calling a major reform bill.

It could make it a lot harder for Floridians to get their hands on delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products. Those smokable and edible products have been part of a fast-growing market in Florida.

Because of a loophole in the 2018 farm bill passed by Congress, hemp products containing lots of delta-8 aren’t regulated like marijuana products heavy in the psychoactive delta-9 THC compound — even though the compounds are extremely similar. Delta-9 produces the euphoric effect felt by users of medical and recreational marijuana.

But delta-8 is only lightly regulated by the state. The cannabis reform bill, HB 679, sponsored by Reps. Andrew Learned, D-Brandon, and Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers, would change that. It also would:

▪ Expand the use of telehealth in medical marijuana.

▪ Restrict medical marijuana advertising practices.

▪ Require cannabis doctors to complete a six-hour training course before they are cleared to recommend marijuana to patients.

▪ Expand cannabis patients’ registration cards to last two years instead of one.

▪ Restrict medical marijuana companies from sitting on an inactive license, then flipping it for a profit.

▪ Create a new Medical Marijuana Testing Advisory Council, and expand regulations around the testing of marijuana products. [Read more at Miami Herald]

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