Yesterday was a great day for Florida medical marijuana patients as a judge lifted a stay which prevented patients from legally smoking medical cannabis. Florida voters approved medical marijuana during the 2016 election, after which Florida’s Legislature passed a ban on smokeable forms of medical marijuana.
That ban was overturned earlier this year, but because an appeal was filed, an automatic stay was put in place that kept the cannabis smoking ban in effect. Fortunately, that stay was lifted. Per Miami Herald:
Judge Karen Gievers gave the state until June 11 to put into action a process that will make smokable marijuana available to patients at marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. She said that the state’s attempt to delay the implementation of her May 25 ruling created irreparable harm to patients, particularly two women who challenged the law which prevents them from being prescribed smokable marijuana to treat their chronic diseases.
“First, they cannot legally access the treatment recommended for them,” Gievers wrote in the four-page ruling. “Second, they face potential criminal prosecution for possession and use of the medicinal substance.”
Some patients need to smoke medical marijuana instead of or in addition to smokeless forms of medical marijuana. By smoking marijuana, the effects come on much quicker than if cannabis is eaten. Also, some patients can only afford cannabis flower, and the not the often more expensive forms of cannabis such as transdermal patches or vaporizer cartridges. This is great news for Florida and hopefully will provide some much-needed relief for patients that wish to consume cannabis in smokeable form.