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Florida health department tries to stop herbaceous medical pot

Posted on May 18th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

FloridaFlorida is rapidly shaping up as a test case in whether the term "medical marijuana" necessarily has to include actual herbaceous cannabis. On May 15, the state's  Health Department ordered Quincy-based Trulieve dispensary to stop selling a "whole flower" product—officially intended for use in vaporizers but which can of course also be smoked. Trulieve just last week began sales of product dubbed “Entourage,”—named for the so-called "entourage effect," the synergistic workings of the various compounds in the actual cannabis flower. product meant to be used in the Volcano vaporizer, last week, reports Orlando Weekly. The Health Department's cease-and-desist letter came after local media reports about the sales of Entourage.

“Licensed dispensing organizations have a responsibility to ensure their product is not one that can easily be transitioned into a smokable form. Therefore, whole flower products are not permitted,” state Office of Compassionate Use director Christian Bax wrote in the letter to Trulieve.

Current Flordaa law bans “smoking” of medical marijuana but allows use of vaporizers. The Entourage product comes in "vaporizer cups," but the cannabis inside "can be removed with minimal effort," according to the cease-and-desist letter.

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers responded with a statement saying the company was "surprised by the letter" but is "immediately and completely complying with the department's wishes while evaluating our options."

The Health Department action comes as Florida's legislature is considering enabling legislation on last year's victorious medical marijuana initiative, Amendment 2. A current version of the law would in fact ban herbaceous cannabis, in spite of voter intent. Low-THC strains can be used by patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy or chronic seizures under the state's "CBD-specific" law passed in 2014. The law was later expanded to include patients with terminal conditions, and allow use of more potent strains.

John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who largely bankrolled Amendment 2, has pledged to sue the state over the smoking issue, according to The Cannabist.
 

Cross-post to High Times

Image from Greenwhich Mean Time  

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