Florida has county-based decriminalization and medical marijuana for terminal patients. On June 16th, 2014, Gov. Rick Scott signed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 act or SB 1030 into effect, legalizing the use of low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana for the treatment of a set list of conditions (see below). After January 1st, 2015, doctors were able to prescribe the CBD treatment. The bill also appropriated $1 million for medical research in medical uses of cannabis. Nurseries more than 30 years old were selected through lottery to cultivate “Charlotte’s Web”, a patented strain of high-CBD, low-THC cannabis that has been shown to help children with epilepsy.
On March 25th, 2016, Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 307 into effect, expanding the current and limited medical marijuana program. The law exempted patients in the program from criminal prosecution if certain requirements are met. It also allowed for more patients to participate in the program. Terminally ill patients, defined as dying within a year without life sustaining procedures, would now have access to CBD.
Since June 2015, a trend of counties pseudo decriminalizing cannabis has swept Florida from the southern coast. Starting in Miami-Dade, moving it’s way to Key West, Broward, and even Tampa and Orange counties — county police in these districts have been informed to prosecute less citizens for possession and lean towards fines. No true decriminalization bills have been passed or put in place, these are simply loose guidelines suggested by county sheriffs. Nonetheless, the leniency of cannabis is growing in Florida.
List of qualifying conditions:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Afflications causing “seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms”