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medical marijuana

Trulieve dispensary
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Florida's largest medical marijuana licensee has settled a lawsuit with the state over how many dispensaries it can open.

Lawmakers Look At Limiting Marijuana Highs

Mar 29, 2019

Florida patients can now smoke medical marijuana, but some Republican legislative leaders want to put a limit on how high they can get when lighting up. 

Robert Wilkie
Department of Veterans Affairs

The James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa is undergoing a $148 million dollar expansion to meet the growing demand for health care in Florida. 

WUSF's Stephanie Colombini recently spoke with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie about the expansion and other ways the VA is trying to increase access to care.


Florida’s legislative session has been underway for almost a month and there have already been some big changes.

We talk with reporters about key issues lawmakers are considering and how their actions could affect our lives on this week’s Florida Matters.


Marijuana plants
Mark, flickr

Smokable marijuana is already available for patients at some dispensaries just days after Gov. Ron DeSantis legalized its use.

But the new law still requires the state to craft rules about how to obtain it.

DeSantis Signs Bill To Allow Smokable Pot

Mar 19, 2019

Pointing to the “will of the voters,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a measure repealing Florida’s ban on smokable medical marijuana. 

In their first full action of the 2019 legislative session, Florida lawmakers — many of them grudgingly — ceded to a demand by Gov. Ron DeSantis and overwhelmingly approved a proposal doing away with the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana. 

Senate Signs Off On Smokable Marijuana

Mar 8, 2019

Bowing to a demand by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a measure that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana if doctors deem it the proper treatment. 

Proposal Would Open Medical Pot Market

Feb 25, 2019

A longtime proponent of medical marijuana filed a measure Friday that would eliminate Florida’s “vertical integration” system requiring state-licensed operators to grow, process and dispense cannabis and related products. 

Florida legislators are ready to vote on measures that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana, boosting chances of approval before a mid-March deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

State Challenges Pot Dispensary Ruling

Feb 19, 2019

As lawmakers weigh changes to the state’s medical-marijuana laws, the Florida Department of Health has appealed a circuit judge’s ruling that struck down a limit on the number of dispensaries that marijuana businesses can operate. 

It’s turning into an interesting week for medical marijuana in Florida: Growers are working on deals to get edibles in the state, while lawmakers are again taking up the issue of smoking medical cannabis. 

Patients could soon be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, but they’d have to purchase pre-rolled joints with filters, under a measure approved by a key House panel Tuesday.

Committees in the House and Senate advanced legislation to nix Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, following an ultimatum issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis shortly after the Republican took office last month.

A non-euphoric strain of cannabis is being sold in stores across Florida. It’s available as oils, edibles, and even flower. But as questions about the legality of it linger, CBD remains in limbo.

A high-profile effort to repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana morphed Monday into legislation that, according to the proposal’s author, would be worse for patients than doing nothing at all. 

‘Free Market’ Marijuana Changes Could Be Hard Sell

Feb 1, 2019

He’s not calling it a cartel, as Gov. Ron DeSantis did.

But House Speaker José Oliva acknowledged this week that the state’s “vertically integrated” medical marijuana system – which requires operators to grow, process and dispense cannabis and related products – “isn’t terribly free market.” 

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried gave details Wednesday about the new role she hopes the state Director of Cannabis will fill. 

Whether Florida lawmakers will do away with the state’s prohibition against smoking medical marijuana remains up in the air, despite an ultimatum issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Saying they failed to heed the will of voters, DeSantis this month ordered lawmakers to eliminate a ban on smokable medical marijuana and, if they don’t comply, threatened to drop the state’s appeal of a court ruling that found the prohibition violated a 2016 constitutional amendment.

Gov. Ron DeSantis still wants to eliminate Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, but he’s walked back his opposition to a state system that resulted in what the new governor this month called a cannabis “cartel.” 

Marijuana Smoking Legal Battle Put On Hold

Jan 30, 2019

An appeals court Tuesday put on hold a case challenging the constitutionality of a ban on smoking medical marijuana, as Gov. Ron DeSantis pushes lawmakers to eliminate the ban. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last week that he has asked the Legislature to change Florida law to allow smokable medical marijuana. He also wants to reduce restrictions on who can grow and sell cannabis products. And the new Agriculture Commissioner has plans to create a Director of Cannabis position.

So far, it appears that newly sworn in Florida lawmakers are taking a sharp turn from former Gov. Rick Scott’s approach to try to limit access to medical cannabis in Florida.

1/25/19: Medical Marijuana

Jan 25, 2019

This week on The Florida Roundup, we took a closer look at the future of medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.

DeSantis Pushes To End Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban

Jan 17, 2019
Abe Aboraya / WMFE

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

With one of his chief advisers tweeting the hashtag “NoSmokeIsAJoke,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he will “very soon” announce changes in how the state is carrying out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Report Details Growth Of Medical Marijuana

Dec 29, 2018

Despite a bumpy rollout that has drawn lawsuits and criticism from legislators, a new report shows the number of Floridians using medical marijuana continues to grow.

In the first nine months of 2018, more than 136,000 patients across the state received certifications from 1,070 physicians to receive medical marijuana.

The year 2018 is almost over, and Florida Matters is looking back at the stories that made headlines in our region this year.


In a closely watched case, an appeals court this week agreed to put on hold a circuit judge’s ruling that said Florida lawmakers and the state Department of Health have violated a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

The medical marijuana industry continues to grow in Florida following a 2016 constitutional amendment. It’s getting easier for patients who suffer from certain conditions to receive the drug.

Dried marijuana leaves being sorted in a steel pan.
Julio Ochoa/WUSF Public Media

An appeals court will hear arguments Jan. 8 in a legal battle about whether a ban on smoking medical marijuana violates a 2016 constitutional amendment.

A Tallahassee judge refused Monday to allow the Florida House of Representatives to intervene in a medical marijuana lawsuit, saying the Republican-dominated Legislature should sue the federal government if lawmakers are unhappy that he struck down a 2017 pot-related statute as unconstitutional.

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