For cannabis consumers who are either full-time residents, snowbirds or just visiting the Sunshine State for a tropical vacation this holiday season, what can they expect to find? If you pine for sunshine and sativa, you can’t beat the heat of Florida, right? Here’s a closer view.
Florida voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana, but lawmakers initially banned smokable marijuana. That changed after Gov. Ron DeSantis took office in January and pushed lawmakers to eliminate the arbitrary ban.
Florida is the second-fastest-growing medical marijuana market in the country. Florida’s more than 200 dispensaries offer a wide variety of products for medical cannabis patients, such as CBD oil, tinctures, THC oil, topicals, edibles, and flowers.
In Florida, the marijuana industry is expected to become a $1 billion business by 2020. October numbers illustrate that Florida has over 250,000 patients registered to its medical marijuana program. The state has 2,200 certified doctors under the medical cannabis program.
Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use, although the U.S. remains a hostile place for cannabis, at least at the federal level.
It is important to repeatedly include an explanation of federal law in all of my blogs, videos, and podcast commentary. Without legalization of cannabis at the federal level or removal of cannabis from its Schedule I designation on the Controlled Substances Act, much of what the states do with regard to the cannabis question remains fragile and unenforceable.
Having access to safely manufactured, tested product in Florida is a win-win for everybody. However, I will be trading in Florida for Colorado this holiday season in part because Florida is a long way from becoming Colorado. (Stay tuned for a new blog about the Colorado cannabis skiing scene.)
In Florida, you must get a prescription for medical cannabis, and you are required to have an approved condition. Medicinal marijuana treatment is limited to a few conditions in the Sunshine State, specifically ALS, anxiety, anorexia, arthritis, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. You can also only buy medical marijuana in Florida at a state-approved dispensary.
Florida may be poised to be one of the biggest marijuana markets in the country yet getting a medical marijuana card, seeing a qualified physician, and procuring the appropriate quality and quantity of product may be a long ways away.