Florida Approves Limited Medical Marijuana Use
June 19th, 2014
Policy, Top News
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill this week permitting a non-euphoric strain of marijuana to be used for the treatment of epilepsy, cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“ALS”). The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act achieved bipartisan support and will go into effect in January 2015, when doctors will be able to prescribe a medicinal strain known as Charlotte’s Web.
The passage of the legislation is significant given Florida’s tough stance against cannabis cultivation and usage. While it’s not the worst state in the union, those caught with marijuana and charged with “intent to distribute” could be looking at 15 years in prison. Possession alone of more than 20 grams is punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, which is higher than most states.
Florida’s bill will also provide $1 million for medical marijuana research funding, which is necessary to support the safety and efficacy of marijuana strains. In the case of Charlotte’s Web, the strain is considered to be relatively harmless in terms of side effects, since its THC content is extremely low relative to its CBD content. These dynamics were achieved by cross-breeding marijuana with commercial hemp.
The move to approve medical marijuana has gained ground in many states apart from just Florida. Last month, Minnesota lawmakers approve da bill to legalize medical marijuana in pill or liquid forms, while Maryland decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. Other regions, like Washington D.C., are looking to decriminalize possession of up to one ounce in a further sign of liberalization.
In the end, Florida’s move represents a step in the right direction and comes alongside similar moves in many other states. The increased access to medical cannabis and additional funding for research should further boost the entire sector over the coming quarters as legalization efforts progress.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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