Florida’s medical marijuana program is exploding. In fact, Florida has added over 10,000 medical marijuana patients since June.
Despite laws that seem to be changing constantly, Florida’s medical marijuana program is exploding. In fact, Florida has added over 10,000 medical marijuana patients to its medical marijuana roster—and that’s just since June.
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program is Exploding
The latest numbers released by the Florida Department of Health show just how rapidly the state’s medical marijuana program is growing.
Since June, Florida has added over 10,000 medical marijuana patients to the program’s roster. That’s a 60 percent increase in less than two months. The state now has 26,978 registered medical marijuana patients.
This explosive growth hasn’t just been on the patient side of things. There have also been more than 130 new doctors who have joined the program to recommend medical weed to patients.
The state now has more than 900 doctors who are qualified to recommend weed to patients with a qualifying condition.
Florida’s Changing Laws
This growth comes despite a constantly-changing set of laws in Florida. Back in 2014, Florida passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. This act legalized a medical marijuana program, which went into effect in 2015.
Then, last year, Florida voters approved a bill designed to greatly expand the original medical marijuana program. In fact, the amendment won by a landslide. Just over 71 percent of voters said yes to the bill, while only 28.7 percent voted against it.
Even after last fall’s elections, there have been more recent changes to the state’s medical marijuana program. In June, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law that banned smokable forms of cannabis.
Lawmakers who supported the move said that smoking is unhealthy, and so should not be part of the medical marijuana program.
The bill allows patients with a qualifying condition to vapecertain cannabis products and to use edibles, oils, sprays, and tinctures. Despite this, many advocates say the state’s program is still too restrictive.
In fact, lawyer John Morgan sued the state in July over the ban. He argued that smoking is one of the most effective ways for patients with some conditions to use medical cannabis.
Morgan claimed that by outlawing smokable weed, the state has made it too difficult for patients to access the medicine they’re legally allowed to use.
Final Hit: Florida Has Added Over 10,000 Medical Marijuana Patients Since June
Despite the state’s rapidly-changing and often controversial medical marijuana laws, the program continues to grow.
With a 60 percent increase in the number of registered patients, as well as a large increase in the number of qualified doctors, Florida’s medical marijuana program has significantly expanded this summer.
In addition to the more than 26,000 patients and over 900 doctors who are participating in the program, the state has issued licenses to seven cannabis businesses.
Four of them maintain storefronts where medical marijuana is sold. Two of them deliver to patients. The seventh business has been licensed to grow weed, but it hasn’t harvested a crop yet.
This article originally appeared on Green Rush Daily.