Gov. DeSantis desires to move forward with smokable medical cannabis

Newly sworn-in Gov. Ron De Santis speaks during an event at the Freedom Tower where he named Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court

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Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he will push to end a state ban on smoking medical marijuana in Florida.

Last May, a judge ruled that approved patients can smoke medical marijuana. DeSantis said. "I want people to be able to have their suffering relieved". However, directly afterward, then-Governor Rick Scott filed an appeal, preventing flower sales from moving forward until the appeal was resolved. That law was struck down by a circuit court judge, who reasoned that because the amendment makes clear there is no right to smoke marijuana in public places it implies a right to smoke in private.

DeSantis accused the Republican-dominated Legislature of failing to implement the amendment "in accordance with what the amendment envisioned".

DeSantis also demonstrated a desire to work with persistent medical marijuana champions Rep. Matthew Gaetz (R-FL) and John Morgan, who were both beside DeSantis as he made his address.

Florida has enrolled over 212,000 patients in the state's medical marijuana program since it came into effect, the Florida Department of Health announced earlier this month. "So I don't think this law is up to snuff".

DeSantis claimed that the state of Florida will not be conducting business with any organization promoting discrimination led by the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).

Jeff Sharkey with the Medical Marijuana Business Association says that makes it almost impossible for smaller operations to acquire licenses.

"I am somebody who respects the prerogative of the Legislature", said Mr. DeSantis.

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Former Gov. Rick Scott, who is now a US senator, and his administration appealed the ruling, but his successor, DeSantis, said he believes patients should be allowed to smoke the cannabis treatment if their doctors order it.

"I'm happy!", he said. DeSantis replaced fellow Republican Scott, who is now a USA senator, earlier this month.

In 2017 the Legislature passed an implementing bill that established the framework for Florida's medical marijuana industry.

DeSantis also took aim at the licensing system that the Legislature created for medical marijuana businesses, which he described as creating a "cartel".

DeSantis wants to open up the market, by allowing companies to provide specific services, like growing, transporting or dispensing.

"It was put into law for some very good solid policy reasons, but it is starting to get the feel of an issue that we probably need to move past", said Bradley. As Governor, DeSantis appears to be continuing his libertarian streak at the state level.

The governor has made it clear that he is against using recreational marijuana. "So we'll give them a couple weeks in session to address the smoking issue".

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