Doctor concerned with health care law

Breaking news and expert analysis on legal and compliance issues

[Back To Home][Back To Archives]

From Health Law Daily, June 17, 2014

Florida medical marijuana bill becomes law

By Jenny M Burke, JD, MS

A law allowing limited use of a special strain of marijuana prescribed to treat epileptic seizures and other diseases was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday. The measure passed with bipartisan support after parents seeking access to a form of marijuana named “Charlotte’s Web” appealed to state lawmakers.

"As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer," Scott, a Republican, said in a statement. "I am proud to stand today with families who deserve the ability to provide their children with the best treatment available."

The law, entitled the "Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014," puts significant constraints on marijuana sales, but allows use of the drug for people suffering from epilepsy, cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The bill also appropriates $1 million for research in medical uses of marijuana.

The Charlotte's Web substance made legal under this bill is not for smoking and is specially cultivated to be very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the element that creates the “high.” The drug was named after a girl whose epileptic seizures have shown a response to the drug. Production of this substance is limited to a few growers at nurseries that have been in business for 30 years or longer. After Jan. 1, 2015, doctors will be allowed to prescribe low-THC marijuana treatment for state residents with epilepsy, cancer, and afflictions causing "seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms."

Senate bills 1030 and 1700, also nicknamed the “Charlotte’s Web bill” were both signed. The law is unrelated to a more expansive medical marijuana referendum, Amendment 2, which was up for vote in November. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have some form of laws that permit use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, although they vary widely, according to a Florida legislative analysis. Access in Florida will be more limited than in states such as Colorado and Washington, where recreational marijuana has been legalized.

MainStory: TopStory StateLegislationNews DrugNews DrugBiologicalNews

Health Law Daily

Introducing Wolters Kluwer Health Law Daily — a daily reporting service created by attorneys, for attorneys — providing same-day coverage of breaking news, court decisions, legislation, and regulatory activity.


A complete daily report of the news that affects your world

  • View full summaries of federal and state court decisions.
  • Access full text of legislative and regulatory developments.
  • Customize your daily email by topic and/or jurisdiction.
  • Search archives for stories of interest.

Not just news — the right news

  • Get expert analysis written by subject matter specialists—created by attorneys for attorneys.
  • Track law firms and organizations in the headlines with our new “Who’s in the News” feature.
  • Promote your firm with our new reprint policy.

24/7 access for a 24/7 world

  • Forward information with special copyright permissions, encouraging collaboration between counsel and colleagues.
  • Save time with mobile apps for your BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle.
  • Access all links from any mobile device without being prompted for user name and password.