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Senate Bill 1030 is a Go - Rick Scott Legalizes Medical Marijuana in Florida

By Matt Thompson

Florida has joined the ranks of states that have legalized medical marijuana - but there’s a catch: It’s just low-grade marijuana, and the bill only applies to children. Yes, just children.

Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 1030 – otherwise known as the “Charlotte’s Web Bill,” in reference to the name of a strain of low-grade marijuana – into law June 16th, which means medical marijuana treatment will be available for kids suffering from seizures and other debilitating conditions.

What Senate Bill 1030 Really Means

According to the Florida Legislature’s official transcript, the legislation in question does a few very basic things:

  • Defines “medical use”—hint: it has nothing to do with recreational use, trafficking or possession.

  • Creates a Compassionate Care Registry—this is a comprehensive list of both qualified dispensing organizations and patients (in this case, children) cleared to use marijuana medically.

  • Requires participating physicians to submit a quarterly report to the UF School of Pharmacy to track the effectiveness of marijuana treatment.

  • Outlines legal treatment of 5 dispensaries, to be approved for the service in 5 distinct regions of Florida.

  • Provides for the use of State research funds into the effectiveness of medical marijuana use.

"The new law also requires that a doctor’s recommended treatment be signed off on by another specialist."

Green Grass and High Tides Forever?

So, yes, this bill means the average pot smoker is still going to get busted for burning one down. Governor Scott was very specific about who this bill is targeted towards, and unless you’re a child with epilepsy––it’s not for you.

My Thoughts on the Subject

I think the “Charlotte’s Web” nickname for this bill fits for a few reasons:

If I remember the old animated movie right, the little spider’s catchphrase was “salutations,” and this bill is essentially a “hello-how-are-ya” from the Florida senate, ahead of the big vote on Amendment 2 in November. And Charlotte’s Web is also a children’s movie, so the name makes sense that way, too.

Senate Bill 1030 also takes steps to establish a framework for the medical marijuana industry, which is almost as important as legalizing the stuff in the first place. Having a web (pun intended) of State-approved manufacturers and distributors means less legwork (is that another pun?) if a bigger bill comes down the water spout (punned again??)—which is inevitable, by the looks of it.

Charlotte’s Web can Still Catch You—Know the Law, Know Your Rights

The Florida Legislature is just warming up for the debate over medical Mary Jane with Senate Bill 1030—the real fireworks are still to come. The bill passed because of its hyper-limited scope in terms of legal use (less than 1% of Florida’s population is going to be able to qualify for a medical marijuana card under this law).

It doesn’t mean nothing though, because it sets a precedent. It’s common knowledge in my field that precedent is everything. We’ll see how much it means in November when Amendment 2 comes sweeping through.

Marijuana possession is still a serious offense in the eyes of the law; check out my post on what you should know about possession charges in Florida. And stay tuned for my thoughts about the vote come November.

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