Yesterday I blogged about a bill introduced in Arizona that would cap the THC of medical cannabis at 2%, warning that such a move would likely spread to other states. Well, today it’s being reported that a Florida Senate bill will cap medical cannabis at 10% for patients under 21 if passed by the Sunshine State’s legislature and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. Not as ridiculous as the proposed 2% limit introduced in Arizona, the 10% limit is still an unnecessary barrier placed between patients and their physicians, as advocates told the Miami Herald:
Barry Gordon, a Venice-based medical marijuana doctor, said the amendment targets the “most vulnerable” population, and that physicians will find the concept to be “absurd.” Gordon treats about 30 pediatric patients, and says they all have varying needs when it comes to THC levels. But that is a decision a doctor makes with a patient or parent, and Tallahassee need not be involved, he said.
“Every doctor that practices medical cannabis responsibly discusses brain development with the parent,” said Gordon, who operates the largest cannabis clinic in the state “This gets in the way of the doctor-patient relationship.”
John Morgan, an Orlando personal injury attorney who bankrolled the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, alleged the cap is “an attempt to help the pharmaceutical industry.”
“Are they banning Oxycontin levels to people to 21 and under? Are they banning Percocet or Xanax?” he said. “The opioid epidemic was created on the backs of our children.”
Further illustrating how these THC caps are a nationwide threat to the cannabis community the Herald reported on attempts to limit THC in Colorado, Alaska, and Washington State. Everyone concerned about patients rights needs to spread the word and urge friends and family in Florida to contact their legislators to oppose these harmful and unnecessary THC limits.
It’s a shame that the rights of medical cannabis patients are still coming under attack, even years after states have successfully implemented medical programs that have helped save and improve lives while benefiting state coffers. These harmful attacks must be monitored and fought by all members of the cannabis community for the sake of the patients impacts and to prevent these assaults on patients’ rights from being enacted in more states. Very alarmingly, Arizona lawmakers have introduced a bill that will ridiculously cap THC at 2% on medical cannabis as Ganjapreneur reported:
Arizona lawmakers last week introduced HCR 2045, which aims to cap the THC potency of medical cannabis products at just two percent, AZMarijuana.com reports; the bill is co-sponsored by 15 lawmakers.
Specifically, the proposal would revise the bill to read as follows:
“A registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary may not dispense to a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver medical marijuana with a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of more than two percent.” — Excerpt from HCR 2045
If the changes are passed, Arizona‘s more than 200,000 registered medical cannabis patients would be either shoehorned into either using low-potency medicine or buying from out-of-state dispensaries or on the unregulated marketplace. Voter-approved initiatives in Arizona, however — like the one that established the state’s medical cannabis program — are difficult for lawmakers to change.
Please spread the word about how harmful such a change would be for patients as they need access to higher THC limits for a variety of reasons, including reducing their severe pain. While 2% THC cannabis and products may be fine for some patients, a vast majority of patients need higher limits. While Reefer Madness prohibitionists often proclaim that “today’s” cannabis contains too much THC, Marinol, federally legal synthetic THC available by prescription, is 100% THC. If you know folks in Arizona, urge them to contact their legislators.