State Regulators Begin Medical Marijuana Listening Tour In Jacksonville

Feb 6, 2017

Credit eggrole / Flickr

The Florida Department of Health held its first workshop Monday in Jacksonville to discuss proposed medical marijuana rules after voters approved Amendment 2 last year.

The hearing at the county health department was the first of five this week regarding the rules in Florida.

Many speakers Monday felt the proposed patient qualifications are too narrow, with a list of about 10 diseases, including cancer and M.S.

Kevin Kafka manages Canna Care Docs, a practice treating medical marijuana patients in several states. He says doctors should decide what’s best.

“What is debilitating should be left up to a doctor that is trained in defining what is debilitating for that certain patient. We shouldn’t have this list that you have to fit in. It should be up to the doctor, as the people voted on,” Kafka said.

Some potential patients testified they’re worried about the lack of competition, with just seven dispensaries in Florida.

Parent of a daughter with seizures Holly Mosley said one of her friends had to move to Colorado for better access.

“It’s time for action. Our children shouldn’t be left to suffer when treatment is within reach,” Mosely said.

Another major concern was the proposed requirement to see a doctor at regular intervals. Some people testified the travel would be cost prohibitive.

Four more workshops on the rules will be held this week. They will be in in Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee. Online comments can also be submitted until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.

Florida voters passed the medical marijuana amendment with 71 percent support in November. Now Florida DOH and state lawmakers have six months to decide on a set of rules to implement Amendment 2 after it went into effect January 3.

Contact Serena Summerfield at newsteam@wjct.org