Medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since 2016 when more than 70 percent of voters approved the related measure. In March 2020, Republican lawmakers who sought to restrict the amount of THC available in prescriptions for medical cannabis patients under 21 saw their efforts defeated in the state senate. Both the Florida House and Senate passed versions of a healthcare bill that did not include a proposed 10% THC cap for this group of younger patients.
Republican state Sen. Gayle Harrell filed an amendment earlier this year that banned medical marijuana with THC levels higher than 10% potency for patients under 21. Florida law currently only limits the amount of THC in edible products, which can only contain 10 mg of THC per serving and 200 mg in total, according to the Miami Herald.
“I have been very concerned about this,” Harrell told the Herald. “You’re seeing increasing percentages of THC in marijuana. This is not your granddaddy’s marijuana from the ‘60s.” Harell’s concern for young medical cannabis patients is not without basis -- as we’ve reported on labroots, marijuana’s effects on teenagers’ developing brains is an area of ongoing concern. But, as some opponents to the failed measure pointed out, such a cap could end up benefiting pharmaceutical businesses more than anyone else.
“Are they banning Oxycontin levels to people 21 and under? Are they banning Percocet or Xanax? The opioid epidemic was created on the backs of our children,” Florida attorney John Morgan, who played a leading role in the 2016 medical marijuana legalization campaign, said.
In the summer of 2019, a Quinnipiac poll found 65% of Florida voters support adults legally possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use -- an all-time high in the state. Republicans were divided on the issue (48% for and- 48% against) while every other listed group supported such a measure. About 61% of voters said they would back the sale of legal marijuana in their community.