On Thursday, Florida senators voted 34-4 to remove the statewide ban on smoking medical marijuana. SB 182 will make it legal for patients to receive up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 35 days, creates a $1.5 million Medical Marijuana Research and Education Board, and authorizes smoking in certain nursing homes and hospice facilities.
State Senator Jeff Brandes sponsored the bill, saying upon its passage, “We’ve been working around the clock with our colleagues in the House, with the Governor’s Office to come up with a consensus product and I think we’ve done that.”
“Being a physician is both an art and a science,” Brandes told his peers on the Senate floor. “There is a latitude we give physicians to try a new drug and try experimentation. That’s how we build on this body of research.”
The bill must now pass the House before it hits the Governor’s desk, where it is all but guaranteed to be approved. Action on the issue was spurred in part by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who told the state legislature in January that the 2017 smoking ban “has not been done in accordance with what the amendment envisioned.” DeSantis held that when 71 percent of