Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says marijuana may be too strong

Changes loom for medical marijuana if THC caps pass.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says marijuana may be too strong

Florida’s Governor suggested today’s medical marijuana may be too strong, with rhetoric seemingly bolstering a proposal currently in the Legislature.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday in Tallahassee, during a press availability with legislative leaders and CFO Jimmy Patronis, told reporters that today’s cannabis hits different than the more innocent variants of bygone times.

“If you look at some of the stuff that’s now coming down, there’s a lot of really bad things in it. It’s not necessarily what you would’ve had 30 years ago when someone’s in college and they’re doing something. You have some really, really bad stuff in there, so I think having the ability to identify that, I think, that’s safety and quite frankly when you get into some of that stuff, it’s not medicinal at that point for sure,” DeSantis said, in response to a reporters’ question.

The legislation would cap THC at 10% in flower, a level below that which would be therapeutic for many of the state’s 500,000 medical patients. Concentrates would be capped at 60%, a number below current levels. The bill language offers no clarity as to what filler would be added to the product.

The Governor’s conceptual endorsement may not change the bill’s trajectory. It is moving in the House, but stalled in the Senate, where Judiciary Chair Jeff Brandes says the THC caps are a non-starter, and has not scheduled the bill for a hearing.

The version of the bill in the House, sponsored by Rep. Spencer Roach, has survived two committee stops so far, and awaits its final committee of reference to hear it.

The issue may come into play in the Governor’s reelection campaign, with potential opponent Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried a proponent of the cannabis sector.

Fried, a Democrat, said last week that DeSantis has been “silent on this issue.”

“I don’t know what the Governor will do if the bill passes,” she said, noting that “horse-trading” often happens at the end of the Legislative Session.

Fried added that if DeSantis signed the bill imposing THC caps, he would be a “one-term Governor” and that Republicans would lose seats if the bill moving in the House became law.

DeSantis allowed smokable cannabis in 2019, a move that set him apart from former Gov. Rick Scott on the issue. But the move toward potential THC caps is more hard line than anything contemplated by the previous administration, noted for its slow-walk implementation of the constitutional amendment allowing medical cannabis, passed in 2016.

This article first appeared at Florida Politics

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