Cannabis News 03/12/2021
This week’s cannabis updates are about Washington DC and Florida. One of them is good news and the other is bad news.
DC’s marijuana laws have been unusual since they legalized adult cannabis use in 2014. Pharmacies are not allowed to sell marijuana, but adults can take it upon themselves. This has led companies to sell other products and to offer a bonus of “free” cannabis with every sale. For example, you could buy a t-shirt for $ 50 and get an eighth of cannabis “free” with the purchase.
Hopefully this workaround will end soon. Mayor Muriel Bowser has tabled a bill to create a regulated marijuana market in the district. According to the mayor, the so-called Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2021 would support an equitable cannabis program for adults. If this bill is approved and legally signed, adults 21 and older will be able to purchase cannabis from licensed pharmacies starting October 2022. The bill puts a 17% tax on all marijuana sales. It would also provide for the automatic deletion of previous marijuana convictions and enable delivery services.
Approving children to use medical marijuana can be very difficult. Few doctors are satisfied with certifying a pediatric patient and allowing them to use cannabis at a young age. Now Florida lawmakers are proposing to make it even harder for children to get the drugs they need.
Currently, children in Florida must be certified by two doctors to receive a medical marijuana card. The proposed change in law would now require both doctors to be pediatricians. This will make it unduly difficult for families with children to find doctors qualified to certify children for cannabis use.
Another bill has been proposed to limit the percentage of THC (and presumably THCa) in medical marijuana in Florida. The bill is sponsored by Republicans, who all voted to pass it on a committee. If this bill reaches the Florida House of Representatives and goes into effect, it will mean the quality of the marijuana flower will be seriously affected. Cannabis must only contain 10% or less THC by weight. Most strains today contain around 15 wt% or more THCa.
This will create a number of problems for the patient. First, it means they need to use more marijuana to adequately manage their ailments. The cost of treatment will go up because they’ll have to buy more cannabis from pharmacies, adding to the cost of offsetting state taxes and making more profit. The bill will also put patients on the street. Instead of buying cannabis from the pharmacies, where it is laboratory tested and grown in controlled environments, they are buying products that are illegal and have a higher potential for by-product contamination.
If the bill passes, Florida cannabis will be among the worst in the country.
Our latest post on our cannabis education page, titled Using Cannabis for a Healthy Lifestyle, tells you how you can use cannabis to encourage more physical activity, a healthier diet, and as a substitute for alcohol and tobacco.