Florida Lawmakers Advance Legislation to Lift Ban on Smokable Marijuana

Two proposals that would remove the ban on smokable cannabis from the state’s medical marijuana program advanced in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday. The Senate measure would permit sales of cannabis flower, while the House plan would only allow sales of pre-rolled joints with filters.

The ban on smokable cannabis was enacted by legislators after voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in 2016. The ban was challenged with a lawsuit from cannabis activists and ruled unconstitutional, a decision that was appealed by the administration of then Gov. Rick Scott. Lawmakers were spurred to repeal the prohibition after Gov. Ron DeSantis, who took office last month, said he would drop the appeal if the legislature did not act on the issue by March 15. Rep. Ray Rodrigues, the chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said on Tuesday that the appeal should not be abandoned.

“If that [court] decision were to stand, what we would be facing essentially would be the wild, wild west when it comes to using medical marijuana,” Rodrigues said. “We believe there should be guardrails around that. That’s why we’ve reconvened and put this bill together moving forward.”

The House plan

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