The Florida House unanimously passed a bill on March 13 that doesn’t include a cap on levels of THC in medical cannabis. Instead, patients would be able to use more potent cannabis if they need it for treatment.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, House Bill 713 was stripped from a larger healthcare bill in the Florida Senate last week. If it had passed, it would have established a 10 percent cap for any medical THC in the state. Often, the medical cannabis that patients use and need is as strong as 30 percent potency, so such that a small cap could be detrimental to those looking for a certain dose
The THC cap was a priority for many conservative lawmakers, including House Speaker José Oliva who also stated that he still believes chemicals found in cannabis could “possibly be detrimental to a young brain.” Still, despite this kind of support for limiting THC amounts, many disagreed with the provision. According to Representative Ray Rodriguez, “Those who say cannabis has no effect on the developing brain are science deniers.”
Even other Republicans like Senator Jeff Brandes were against the idea, saying that a THC cap could make things harder for people who needed stronger medical cannabis prescriptions and more cannabis for their ailments. They would either need to spend more money and use more product or go without the dose they need. This would make this pricey or dangerous for certain patients.
While many supporters have fought hard for cannabis in Florida, and this is a major victory for the medical cannabis industry, advocates still have a way to go before recreational cannabis can move forward. Recreational cannabis won’t be a topic on their 2020 ballot, but the state is currently working on full decriminalization.