By MATT GOREMANPosted March 15, 2019 07:06:16When Florida lawmakers in June voted to allow medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, they were only one step away from legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
However, in recent weeks, state officials have been stepping up efforts to make sure that all Floridians can enjoy medical marijuana.
In fact, Gov.
Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill into law later this week allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients with cancer.
And Florida’s largest health insurer has announced plans to begin charging a 15% surcharge for medical marijuana patients.
“We have been making progress on medical marijuana for more than a year, and we’ve made tremendous strides with medical marijuana,” said Dr. Michael Tinsley, executive director of the Florida Medical Cannabis Program, an organization of physicians and researchers who have worked to expand the medical marijuana market in the state.
The group hopes that, with a governor who is “pro-freedom,” the Florida legislature will move on to a more comprehensive effort to expand access to medical marijuana across the state.
“The medical marijuana industry in Florida has seen an influx of new patients, said Tinsie, but it is still a small segment of the overall industry.”
It is still relatively small,” he said.
Tinsie noted that in some cases, the industry is “just too small to have a major impact” on overall drug consumption.
He pointed to a study that found only about 2% of Florida residents use marijuana daily.”
That is a fraction of the people who use marijuana for medical purposes every day,” Tinsies said.
According to Tinsiys research, about a third of Florida’s medical marijuana users are either recreational or medicinal marijuana users.
He said about 75% of patients are white, about 5% are Hispanic and about 2.5% are African-American.TInsiys group has spent the past several months working with a group of physicians to craft the state’s first-ever prescription program for medical patients with a medical need.
Tinsiches group has already begun issuing a prescription to patients for medical cannabis, which they hope will be a boon to the industry.
The state’s medical cannabis program is currently in its second year.
The group says that since July, they have issued about 1,200 medical marijuana prescriptions, a number that is likely to rise as more Floridian patients enroll.”
We’re just in the early stages of that process.””
We have a lot that we can do.
We’re just in the early stages of that process.”
For those seeking a doctor’s recommendation, Tinsied said they should contact his office.
“The first thing you should do is ask if they have a history of opioid abuse or have any history of cancer,” Tintley said.
The doctor should also confirm that they are not suffering from other medical conditions, such as PTSD or anxiety.
Tinas work will continue as the medical cannabis system matures.
But Tinsier said he would like to see more states expand the program to include non-cancer ailments.
“I think the medical community should be able to offer it to those who need it,” Titsier said.