Legislation that would allow physicians to renew patients medical marijuana cards via telehealth options has been passed unanimously by two committees in the House of Representatives.
House Bill 387 was passed yesterday by the House Health and Human Services Committees in a 20 to 0 vote, eight days after it passed the House Healthcare Regulations Subcommittee by a vote of 16 to 0. The measure now goes to the full House, with passage there sending it to the Senate.
Under the proposed law although a licensed physician would still be required to meet a patient in-person to authorize their medical marijuana use for the first time, all subsequent annual renewals could be conducted through telehealth options such as Zoom.
State Representative Spencer Roach is the prime sponsor of the bill. He points out that during an eight-month period of the pandemic telehealth was allowed for medical marijuana renewals
The state “really didn’t see any problems”, says Roach, who notes that House Bill 387 “would treat the use of medical marijuana just like other medicines in the state of Florida.”
Along with Representative Roach, the bill is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of eight additional lawmakers.
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.
Earlier this month Florida State Senator Victor Torre filed a legislative proposal (Senate Bill 1576 ) that would legalize recreational marijuana for everyone 21 and older. The bill’s filing comes amidst a statewide initiative campaign to put marijuana legalization to a vote of the people, with the group Smart & Safe Florida having already submitted over 420,000 valid signatures of the 891,589 required to put the issue before voters next year.
You can find the full text of House Bill 387 by clicking here. If it’s passed into law, it will take effect on July 1st of this year.