Telehealth companies that had been made out there to Florida’s medical marijuana sufferers as a result of coronavirus pandemic might change into a everlasting possibility. 

That’s based on the web publication Florida Politics, which reported this week that the momentary provision first established on the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak—after which prolonged in May—may change into a fixture within the state’s medical hashish program.

The state’s Department of Health unveiled emergency guidelines again in March that allowed licensed physicians in Florida to see their sufferers and subject prescriptions remotely. The state’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis prolonged telehealth companies for medical marijuana sufferers one other 60 days in May. Now, with the supply set to run out this week—and the coronavirus experiencing a resurgence in states corresponding to Florida—some advocates assume it must be prolonged indefinitely.

“It’s excellent for the patients, convenience-wise, safety-wise and in a lot of other ways,” Barry Gordon,  a former doctor in Ohio who now owns a hashish clinic in Venice, Florida, told Florida Politics. “The majority of the patients can find that they can integrate it into their lifestyle in an appropriate way and don’t need a lot of further medical advice.”

Gordon continued: “Those types of things are easily done in a [telehealth] consultation. I like to call it being a 2020 doctor and not adopting a 1980 philosophy. We don’t know how long this COVID-19 crisis is going to last…. . It just makes sense. It’s a different society now.”

Holly Bell, director of hashish for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, informed the web site {that a} determination on the telehealth possibility can be made in session with the Department of Agriculture. Florida Politics famous {that a} “permanent change in the medical cannabis statute will have to be amended and will likely require legislative action to allow for permanent telehealth options.”

The Sunshine State and Medical Cannabis

Florida’s medical marijuana program was established 4 years in the past, when greater than 70 p.c of voters within the state accepted a measure legalizing the remedy. Earlier this yr, simply previous to the pandemic and ensuing lockdown measures, the Florida legislature took up a invoice that aimed to ban medical marijuana with THC ranges exceeding 10 p.c efficiency for sufferers below the age of 21.

The measure’s chief proponent, Republican state Sen. Gayle Harrell, took subject with the state’s present regulation, arguing that it caps THC at ranges far better than what most sufferers would wish to eat.

“I have been very concerned about this,” Harrell told the Miami Herald. “You’re seeing increasing percentages of THC in marijuana. This is not your granddaddy’s marijuana from the ‘60s.”

Residents within the Sunshine State must wait a bit longer earlier than authorized leisure weed lands inside their borders. An effort to get a leisure weed proposal on this yr’s poll fell quick, and the advocates behind the trouble have now shifted their focus to the 2022 poll. 

Still, there’s good motive to imagine that Floridians are prepared for the change. A Quinnipiac University ballot launched final summer season discovered that 65 p.c of voters there help legalizing possession of pot for private use.

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