Bill Allowing Telehealth for Medical Marijuana Renewals Approved by Florida Senate Committee

A Senate bill that would allow physicians to renew patients medical marijuana cards via telehealth options has been passed unanimously by a Senate committee. A companion bill has already been passed by two House committees.

The Senate Health Policy Committee voted unanimously today, 12 to 0, to pass Senate Bill 344, the companion bill to House Bill 387 which has already passed the House Health and Human Services Committee and the House Healthcare Regulations Subcommittee. The bill would allow patients to seek renewals for their medical marijuana authorization (required annually) via telehealth, which is currently prohibited.

The companion bills would still require that a licensed physician meet a patient in-person to authorize their medical marijuana use for the first time, but all subsequent annual renewals could be conducted through telehealth options such as Zoom.

State Representative Spencer Roach, the prime sponsor of the bill in the House, has pointed out that during an eight-month period of the pandemic telehealth was allowed for medical marijuana renewals, and the state “really didn’t see any problems.” Roach says his bill “would treat the use of medical marijuana just like other medicines in the state of Florida.”

Florida first legalized medical marijuana through the passage of Amendment 2 in 2016. Since then nearly 800,000 people have become qualified medical marijuana patients based on data released by the state.

A statewide initiative campaign to put the legalization of recreation marijuana to a vote of the people in 2024 has already submitted over 400,000 valid signatures out of the 891,589 required to put the proposal on the general election ballot.

If passed the bills would take effect on July 1.

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