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Governor Scott signs medical marijuana into law

Governor Rick Scott officially signed the medical marijuana bill into law Friday. The bill is an amendment 71 percent of Florida voters approved in November of last year.

The bill, also referred to as amendment two, served to surpass Florida’s preexisting medical marijuana law designated for those who are deemed terminally ill and includes a broader range of debilitating medical conditions.

Among those conditions are epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cancer, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

In accordance with the new law, eligible patients with a doctor’s approval will have access to vaporizer pens, oils, cannabis-based pills and edibles with higher strains of THC; however, smoking marijuana remains prohibited.

Additionally, qualified patients will be given 70 days’ worth of medical marijuana supplies with two refills before needing to visit a marijuana treatment center for re-evaluation.

“I mean, if its medicinal and helping people I don’t see why not,” University of Central Florida student Michael Hendrix said. “I’m sure there will be some people that abuse it, but that can be said for literally everything, so if it helps even one person I say that’s good.”

Florida voters voted in favor of the medical marijuana amendment in November 2016 but official rules regarding regulation, distribution and qualifications were required before enacting the amendment.

The Department of Health was tasked with regulating marijuana production and distribution centers in addition to setting qualifications regarding marijuana related treatment by July 3 after the State Legislature failed to pass a regulatory bill in May.

The deadline for enacting the official regulations is Oct. 3.

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