Good evening (or morning, afternoon, night) to all of you! It feels like I’m having to say this with almost every update lately, but today has again been another historical day for the Florida medical cannabis industry. Governor Ron Desantis signed Senate Bill 182 (SB 182, Florida’s smoking medical marijuana bill) into law, and it is effective as of today. This means that smokable medical marijuana is now legal in the State of Florida, and sales of smokable cannabis flower will begin as soon as the Department of Health (DOH) sets regulations for the sales.
One the DOH sets the rules and regulations for sales of smokable cannabis flower, and the OMMU has fine tuned all the specifics of the new smoking route of administration (though we heard rumors that they have already been working on this), sales of smokable cannabis flower in Florida will begin. The exact timeframe of this happening is still questionable, but we are all hoping for an expedited implementation, of course. My personal guess is that we will be able to walk into a dispensary and purchase flower sometime between mid June and mid August. My extreme earliest guess would be late April or early May, and my extreme latest guess is by the end of 2019 – though I seriously down the latter scenario happens in any case.
Let’s all continue to make our voices heard and push for the implementation of SB 182 to happen as quickly as possible; let’s not settle for the waiting and political games that we’ve had to deal with so much in the past. We can expedite this process as a community, as a body of people who are ready to have their quality of life even further enhanced.
For those of you who missed it, here’s a recap of SB 182:
SB 182 Recap
- Smoking route can be ordered up to six 35-day supplies (equivalent to the current standard of three 70-day supplies for every other route of administration)
- Each 35-day supply allows up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower for each patient, or a half ounce of flower per week. There can be special exceptions made through the Department of Health, as there are already exceptions for the other routes.
- Patients can carry up to four ounces of marijuana flower on their person
- Marijuana flower can be sold in many forms – not restricted to prerolled joints
- Medical marijuana delivery devices intended for smoking need not be purchased from a dispensary. Unfortunately, this does not apply for vaporization devices; apparently this was a compromise that the House demanded. I personally expect this to be disputed in some way through time. It makes absolutely zero sense, given that the same legislature fought against smoking for so long. Why “open the floodgates” for smoking paraphernalia, but not allow it for vaporization devices? What is the “boogeyman” here?
- Patients under 18 may not smoke cannabis, unless they have a terminal illness and are signed off by a second doctor under similar conditions to the current “Right to Try” act.
Significant changes on the horizon for Florida cannabis patients
As we touched on in our last update, SB 182 obviously brings major changes to the Florida medical cannabis industry; namely, we will finally be able to purchase flower that isn’t stuffed into ceramic pods. We will be able to buy our marijuana in quantities other than eighths. This is a huge positive change for the Collective, as we will be able to review a significantly larger variety of products and strains due to being able to “sample” grams instead of having to fully to commit to the ridiculously expensive $55 eighths. I can’t emphasize enough how ready I am to be able to do that.
Surterra Wellness – Coral Reefer Products coming 04.12.2019
Surterra announced via email today that their Coral Reefer line of products – a result of last year’s collaboration with Jimmy Buffett – will be available on April 12, 2019. This will be an interesting addition to a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC), that, for the most part, has been (in my humble opinion) relatively unspectacular in their products up until this point. Perhaps they will have flower available in the future with the passage of SB 182; in any case, I look forward to seeing how this MMTC responds to the evolving industry in Florida.
Cresco Labs acquires Vidacann to enter Florida Medical Cannabis market
Cresco Labs already operates in multiple legal and recreational cannabis states, and the recent news of their acquisition of Vidacann is yet another interesting variable that will result in even more growth and expansion of Florida’s cannabis market. A look at Cresco’s website reveals many interesting products and flower strains, so to me, this is a positive development.
As we wrap up Q1 2019, it seems that our growing cannabis industry is definitely picking up even more momentum. My guess is that one year from now, our 2020 cannabis market will look entirely different: over a dozen MMTCs will offer flower, concentrates will have further expansion/availability and variety, and prices will finally be on a firm (but slow/steady) downward trend from the current highway robbery that we are dealing with. Hang in there – those $55 eighths are about to be a thing of the past, unless you’re paying absolutely top shelf near-30% THC flower. We’re only just beginning to see the positive changes and the growth that will result from them.
One thing is for certain: the Florida Medical Cannabis Collective has your back through all of these changes. We will continue to provide these news updates in this easy-to-digest format, product reviews of all the latest cannabis products in the Florida market, and education pieces that help you get the most out of your medicine. As always, thank you for your support, and all of the positive feedback you all have given us since we started this journey. It’s an exciting and wonderful experience, and we look forward to continuing it with you!
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