Florida bill capping THC in medical marijuana effectively dead

It’s an attack on medicine… That’s what users and doctors said Tuesday as a House panel advanced THC caps on medical marijuana along party lines.
Posted at 12:19 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 12:19:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It doesn't appear that a controversial bill, which would have limited THC levels in medical marijuana, will advance to the House floor.

HB 1455 would have capped smokeable THC levels at 10%. That’s less than what most dispensaries currently offer. Edibles would be limited to 15%. Other cannabis products capped at 60%. Terminal patients would be exempt.

THC is the stuff that gets users high and Rep. Spencer Roach, a North Fort Myers Republican, thinks the state needs to reign it in.

“We have doctors taking advantage of this medical marijuana program to get rich,” Rep. Roach told lawmakers in the Professions & Public Health Subcommittee. “We have patients who are drug-seeking— taking advantage of this program to get high.”

Democrats said the bill’s passage would equate to a new tax for Florida’s nearly 500,000 registered medical marijuana users who would need to buy more products to keep treatment levels the same.

User John Goodson worried the need for more would also have health impacts.

“That’s inhaling more toxins, tar,” said Goodson. “I think this is something that could cause folks to relapse and go back to harder drugs.”

The bill had some momentum in March when two House committees voted to advance the bill. The bill passed the committees along party lines with Republican in favor and Democrats against the measure.

HB 1455 had to clear just one more committee before it could be heard on the House floor, but the Health and Human Services met Monday for the last scheduled time without hearing the bill.

THC caps aren’t anything new. Several similar bills have appeared since 71 percent of Florida voters approved an amendment to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. The opposition was fierce enough to kill both attempts in 2019.