The push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida faced a new roadblock on Monday after Florida Surgeon General announced he is opposed to the bill as he feels it allows untested drugs to circulate in the market, fuelling speculation the governor may veto it.
“We must be wary of unintended consequences and remember that first we must do no harm,” John Armstrong, the Florida Surgeon General and chief of the Florida Department of Health, told the House Judiciary Committee.
He instead advocated for research into the marijuana derivative and testing before it is approved for sale. So far, Florida Governor Rick Scott had neither publicly backed nor voiced his opposition to the bill, causing certain quarters to speculate that Armstrong’s remarks may be a signal of what he is thinking, reported Tampa Bay Times.
The committee endorsed the bill, titled HB 843 by a vote of 15-3, after earlier rewriting certain provisions of the draft. The alterations inserted clauses outlining the marijuana extract’s distribution system that will help in regulating marijuana later.
Part of the new amendments provides for the establishment of a “Compassionate Use Registry” that will only allow doctors to forward the names of eligible patients who will receive the non-euphoric strain of medical marijuana.
The bill’s House sponsor Republican Matt Gaetz expressed confidence that he will be able to discuss with Armstrong the contentious issues and find a solution, and that the bill will pass.
“We intend to send to the governor a medical cannabis bill and I expect that he will support it,” Gaetz said after the meeting.
Florida will vote on November to endorse Amendment 2, which ensures medical marijuana is legalized. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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